From CIO’s George Nott: The Royal Australian Air Force is exploring the potential of augmented reality as the organisation undertakes the largest technological upgrade in its history.
The Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group (part of the Department of Defence) and Saab Australia, demonstrated a 3D visualisation application developed for Microsoft HoloLens to 50 key Air Force and Defence personnel towards the end of last year.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshall Leo Davies, trying the technology for the first time, indicated a growing role for augmented reality vision (ARV) tech in the Air Force.
“How we communicate, visualise and explore problems and ultimately reach solutions will be heavily influenced by technology such as ARV,” he said.
Following the demo at Defence headquarters in Canberra, DST Group scientist Kevin McDonald said the technology could shape the Air Force’s response to threats.
“Augmented reality technology is evolving and this demonstration aims to increase awareness and interest in how ARV can be adapted and used for future Defence applications – either for planning or training,” he said.
“Specifically the scenario and simulations explored today show the utility this technology can have on our decision making models and behaviour in certain situations, and how they can shape and aid our responses to threats.”
Augmented in Adelaide
Saab Australia is one of just two defence companies globally working to develop applications in the ARV field, specifically for Microsoft’s mixed-reality HoloLens platform.
It was one of a small number of businesses selected by Microsoft to participate in its HoloLens Enterprise Acceleration Program at the beginning of last year and began working with RAAF in February.
Saab has since established a HoloLens Applications Studio and Centre of Excellence at its Adelaide headquarters and is exploring its use in other industries such as health, emergency services, infrastructure and the resources sectors, the company said. It added there was particular potential in long distance education.