IDF developing augmented reality tech for battlefield

The Israeli army has purchased two Microsoft HoloLens glasses and plans to use the augmented reality device on active duty within months, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Major Rotem Bashi, who heads the programming department at the military’s C2 Systems Department, plans to develop the technology to improve strategy and for training.

In less than a month, Bashi’s team developed software that superimposes battlefield maps on the terrain and creates an interactive overlay that can be controlled via sight, voice, and hand gestures, according to Bloomberg.

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The department is also developing methods for medics to use the device for operating on wounded troops while receiving real-time instructions and for soldiers to use it to help fix equipment problems.

It is also looking to develop software that would transmit readings of a soldier’s physiology in the field to headquarters.

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Instead of completing a lengthy development process before deploying new technology, the unit is now starting to use a “minimal viable product” that can be upgraded along the way, thus avoiding a situation in which technology is almost obsolete by the time it is ready for use.

According to the report, Bashi’s team continues to search for new applications for the technology, including face recognition software for checkpoints and using hand gestures to control robots and drones.

There are lingering challenges and limitations to the HoloLens technology, but Bashi sees it as the way of the future. “The bottom line is that the world is going in this direction,” he told Bloomberg. “We want to understand how to develop for this kind of device and figure out how it can impact us as a military.”

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