The 18-hole course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia was a host last week to the demonstration held by the Office of Naval Research. The demonstration pertained to the Augmented Immersive Team Trainer (AITT) that works by providing a battlefield environment complete with tanks, smoke and mortar fire to the user wearing the special glasses.
History has taught us that numbers are not necessarily the winning factor in winning a war but the training that is done throughout the year has a major role to play. The most successful armed forces are the ones that continue to train continuously to the point where skills, discipline and motivation become muscle memory and a reflex action. The issue with such trainings? They take a heavy toll on the finances. This explains why US military is so hell bent on coming up with ways that are more economical and yet provide the same results of an actual training exercise without resulting in the wear and tear of the real equipment.
21st May, 2015 – representatives from US Navy, Army and Marine Corps saw the very first demonstration of AITT that employs the use of special glasses for enhancing augmented reality training. How is this different from virtual reality? Simply put, AITT doesn’t create a whole digital environment but rather overlays virtual information on the existing real world as seen through special glasses.
The optical see-through components as ONR calls them is more advanced and provides for an enhanced field of view when compared with commercial products.
AITT system is in its 5th year of development and research and form, as per Marine Major Le Nolan, “a portable high definition [personal computer] screen in front of your eyes that can integrate and render complex information in a manner that does not exist for the typical heads-up displays Marines use today.”
ONR is hopeful that AITT shall be able to achieve the goal of the Marine Corps Vision & Strategy 2025 that speaks of creating a training system that is capable of reproducing the intricate battlefield environment on a realistic level. According to ONR, the current phase of the project shall be completed by the end of this year once a large-scale and final demo is given at Quantico again. Afterwards, it will be handed over to the Marine Corps Program Manager for Training Systems for further testing and development.
Nolan further added, “For Marines, this system increases their situational awareness, whether for training or operations, giving them a wider aperture for information to help make better decisions. And, in the end, that’s what we’re trying to do here in [ONR’S Human Performance Training and Education program]; give war fighters enough information to make the best decision possible, but not overwhelm them with so much information that they can’t make sense of it.”