Ukrainian soldiers may one day use HoloLens augmented reality headsets to see beyond their natural field of view and lock onto enemies in drone strikes. The Limpid Armor development combines Microsoft’s headset with a helmet to create the Circular Review System.
After its initial debut in October 11, Limpid Armor has been testing its device in labs. Beyond the HoloLens, the helmet pairs up with a camera box on the sides of armored vehicles. The company’s software ties it all together. The system can provide a 360-degree view of an area for up to 300 meters (328 yards), overlaying the feed with highlights of friends and enemies. The Circular Review System can also be used to command drones, locking onto targets through the headset.
Microsoft has been pushing the practical uses of HoloLens. Its high price tag ($3,000 for the developer edition) places it firmly in the realm of industry purchases, with initial demos focusing on how professionals can use it in their workflow. Designers can envision their creations in the real world, engineers can call up instructions over their vision and collaborators can Skype together.
Limpid Armor’s creation may just be the beginning. Microsoft has been expanding its Windows Holographic platform, revealing new virtual reality headsets that run the software. A wider install base will encourage developers to bring their creations to the platform, increasing the value potential for HoloLens.
Ukraine’s is not the only military researching virtual reality’s potential. In April, a company working with the U.S. military revealed it had discovered a way to make VR more immersive. vMocion found that electric shocks could reduce motion sickness. The project started in the military as a way of helping pilot training.
For Limpid Armor, the company has its sights set beyond the military. It hopes that one day, civilian editions could help vehicle drivers and drone pilots. Hopefully, due to the augmented reality maintaining a view of the real world, those pilots won’t experience motion sickness.