Air Force explores Augmented Reality Visualisation (ARV)

The future just got a little closer thanks to an Augmented Reality Visualisation (ARV) demonstration at the Russell Convention Centre on October 25.

Conducted as an initiative of Jericho Dawn, in collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) and Saab Australia, the event highlighted the potential Defence applications of ARV through a demonstration of holographic software developed by Saab Australia and the Microsoft HoloLens.
Resembling a cross between normal reading glasses and ski goggles, the HoloLens is a commercial, untethered and self-contained wearable device that allows a user to visualise holographic images and participate in ARV.

“Augmented reality technology is evolving and this demonstration aims to increase awareness and interest in how ARV can be adapted and used for future Defence applications - either for planning or training,” said DST Group scientist and team leader, Mr Kevin McDonald.

“Specifically the scenario and simulations explored today show the utility this technology can have on our decision making models and behaviour in certain situations, and how they can shape and aid our responses to threats.”

Over 50 Defence and industry personal attended the invitation only event and participated first hand in various ARV simulations.

Trying the technology for the first time, CAF AIRMSHL Leo Davies said that the adoption and exploitation of technologies such as the HoloLens are part of Air Force’s transition to a 5th generation fighting force.

“How we communicate, visualise and explore problems and ultimately reach solutions will be heavily influenced by technology such as ARV,” he said.

“It is important that through initiatives such as Jericho Dawn that Air Force continues to innovate and adapt to evolving technologies to ensure we grow the skills and experience to shape them to our needs.”

Jericho Dawn and DST Group are providing seed funding for Saab Australia - who are a Microsoft partner for the development of applications for the use with HoloLens - to design tools for DST Group to demonstrate the future of this capability for Air Force.

For the director of Plan Jericho, GPCAPT Pete Mitchell, the success of Jericho and technologies such as HoloLens depended on a careful balance between imagination and innovation.

“The future could be stated as either limitless or limited by your imagination,” he said.

“ARV is a rapidly emerging technology with possible applications in fields as diverse and far ranging as medical science, research, chemistry, training, education and remote industry application - to name just a few possibilities.

“It is our job to explore the possibilities ARV can afford Air Force and this demonstration is one step in examining this potential. As ARV applications become more commercial and mainstream we expect this potential to grow exponentially.”

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