The US military is looking to the future of warfare in a big way. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has recently announced its plans for advanced augmented reality (AR) goggles that will be used by soldiers to perform complex tasks. The Perceptually-enabled Task Guidance (PTG) system uses sensors to assess and anticipate the needs of operators in a real-time environment, providing guidance and recommendations when required.
DARPA has narrowed its focus on augmented reality to three main areas. In battlefield medicine, they seek to aid medical personnel in the field – with untrained personnel able to support them – and sustainment, which is maintaining military equipment. The third area of focus is co-piloting, particularly of helicopters. Interestingly though, their training demos make use of something much more mundane: cooking!
Dr. Bruce Draper, the program’s manager said, “[Cooking is] a good example of a complex physical task that can be done in many ways. There are lots of different objects, solids, liquids, things change state, so it’s visually quite complex. There is specialized terminology, there are specialized devices, and there’s a lot of different ways it can be accomplished. So it’s a really good practice domain.”
DARPA has already been working on the project for several years and plans to continue development over the next few years. They are expecting that by 2024, these AR goggles will be available for field testing.
If successful, this project could revolutionize warfare as we know it, giving soldiers an unprecedented edge in battle. It will be interesting to see where this project takes us and what new capabilities these goggles bring to the battlefield. Only time will tell how successful this technology will be, but DARPA is certainly aiming high with their ambitious plans for ‘Augmented Cognition’.