Written by Loren Bolton
By now, most are familiar with virtual reality (VR), but augmented reality (AR) may be a bit of a mystery. However, most people have interacted with augmented reality and probably never knew. Many applications on our phones use augmented reality, like navigation apps, social media apps and photo filters. These applications are a mere glimpse of augmented reality's true capabilities, and the results of using AR in military training are nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Akin to its cousin VR, AR uses a wireless head-mounted display with one significant difference, AR headsets are transparent. Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world. In a training environment, the instructor can place digital assets such as hostile forces, hostages or bystanders in the trainee's field of view. This cutting-edge technology enables the military to create shoot houses on the fly anywhere in the world.
Augmented reality's ability to quickly spawn a shoot house enables the military to train for breeching and clearing hostile locations effectively. The shift from live actors and simunition weapons to simulated subjects and weapons allows trainers to create a training environment in soft targets in minutes without damage to those locations. The possibilities are nearly endless—everything from basic shoot house training to active shooter and even mission rehearsal are within AR's reach.
To begin, trainers scan the environment using a tablet to map the location for the simulated training. In this step, the tablet can pick up a detailed environment layout and even note objects like furniture and decorations. Once this step is complete, the trainers can add digital assets to the location. For example, trainers may use an office building and superimpose hostile actors, hostages and bystanders for the trainees to move through and clear. The trainers can strategically place these actors in various locations to solicit different actions and responses from the clearing team for a comprehensive training experience.
After the trainees have cleared the environment, the augmented reality simulator has recorded their movements and biometrics to create a powerful after-action review (AAR). It is important to note that the AAR for the current methods could take hours to generate in a traditional shoot house and entirely relies upon the trainers to catch mistakes. An augmented reality simulator can create an AAR in seconds and provides a multitude of data for trainers to assess and correct their trainees.
In summary, augmented reality will revolutionize how the military trains and prepares their troops for mission readiness. To learn more about augmented reality and InVeris Training Solutions, read more about our new product, SRCE.