Defense Augmented Reality

Humans operating in complex environments need real-time information to help them maintain situational awareness:

  • Vessels navigating waters near fixed on-shore security zones or in the vicinity of other vessels’ security and safety zones need constantly updated information to remain in-channel while avoiding hazardous objects and other craft.
  • Armed conflict in complex urban environments means warfighters must rapidly process overwhelming amounts of information to stay ahead of the ever-adaptive tactics of terrorists and enemy combatants.

Emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR) help people make sense of the information they’re processing. For high-mobility environments where situational understanding and safety are essential, AR enables people to create, position, access, and deliver digital information anywhere. AR enhances an individual’s sensory perception by co-registering delivered information with precise locations in the environment. Graphics, text, and audio objects can be overlaid on the user’s view of the real world with special eyewear and video displays connected to wearable computers, wireless networks, and multiple data sources.

We’ve focused on developing AR technology applications for mobile performance solutions since 1999. We’ve designed AR user interfaces and developed training methodologies and performance support frameworks to help clients use AR-enhanced equipment most effectively. The WisdomTools approach incorporates problem-based learning techniques, cognitive task analysis, and serious games design to produce compelling learning solutions.

Because of the work done at WisdomTools was listed in Military Training Technology magazine’s MT2 Top 100 for 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 in recognition of its “…significant impact in the military training industry….”

U.S. Coast Guard project: Safer marine navigation made possible with vAtoN.

We performed a research contract for the U.S. Coast Guard to enhance existing Aids to Navigation (AtoN) in coastal and inland waters with an AR-based system that could provide mariners virtual representations of AtoN buoys and channel markers, vessel identification, chart symbols and other features overlaid on the physical environment by special eyewear or video displays. This project included a personal digital assistant (PDA) application to provide mariners and recreational boaters with Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) information and broadcast alerts to prevent them from straying too close to fixed shore installation and vessel security zones.

U.S. Army REDCOM project: Embedded training and performance support using AR.

As a member of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s science and technology group that researched Embedded Training for Dismounted Soldiers, we developed an embedded training and performance support system utilizing mobile AR. This system became a research platform early in the development of the Army’s Future Soldier Initiative, which provides dismounted soldiers with superior situational awareness, realistic training simulations, and greatly enhanced navigational capabilities.

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