Fashionable combat accessory. US Army tests Augmented Reality Glasses


HoloLens glasses for the military at the prototype stage. Image: cnbc.com


Ukrainian initiative


In 2016, one of those who decided to transfer augmented reality technologies to military rails was the Ukrainian company LimpidArmor Inc. The presentation of her system, based on overseas Microsoft HoloLens game glasses, took place at the traditional exhibition “Zbroya bezpeka 2016”. According to the idea of ​​developers, the most optimal would be to use such devices inside tanks to provide operators with a regime of "transparent armor" 360 degrees. To do this, armored vehicles are equipped with video and thermal imaging cameras from the outside, as well as integrated with on-board systems, including the T-64 tank’s FCS.

Fashionable combat accessory. US Army tests Augmented Reality Glasses
Ukrainian Land Platform Modernization Kit is based on the Microsoft HoloLens platform. Photo: uprom.info

This allows you to impose on the image of augmented reality the parameters of the power plant, sighting and navigation equipment and other important information. In total, Ukrainian developers gave birth to three generations of their systems, the last of which is called the Land Platform Modernization Kit. In this model, among other things, it became possible to connect to reconnaissance drones hovering over the battlefield.

“Someone sees the speed and supply of gas, someone - an aiming system. In other words, we offer a comprehensive solution that can visualize almost all processes related to the management and exchange of information between land transport operators, as well as reduce losses ”
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- says Mikhail Grechukhin, founder of LimpidArmor Inc. startup


In Ukraine, testing augmented reality glasses for armored vehicles. Photo: itc.ua

Despite the fact that Grechukhin is a veteran of the ATO, the technology did not cause much enthusiasm in the Ministry of Defense. But it was included in the list of 27 most significant scientific developments providing a technological breakthrough in Ukraine.

A very interesting thing, by the way, is look. The list of Ukrainian innovations includes a new form of carbon and beetle larvae capable of digesting plastic waste. Augmented reality glasses based on Microsoft HoloLens architecture can be found in the “Miracles of Information Technologies” section, as well as in short lists of various technology awards, but not in the Ukrainian army. Grechukhin even wanted to sell such a valuable idea in NATO countries, but the Europeans reasonably reasoned that if such a thing was needed, they would completely master its independent production. Moreover, the technology is far from new. The only advantage of Ukrainian “armored glasses” was the low cost. By this time, the development company HoloLens was already preparing to present a military version of its development, which forever overshadowed the Ukrainian craft.

Points - every tenth fighter!


Now augmented reality is gradually penetrating into all spheres of human existence. For example, now even on budget cars you can find indicators of basic information about the condition of the car, located in front of the windshield. And in the middle price category, the lack of projection onto the glass in front of the driver has already become the rule of bad taste.

Such equipment looks already quite familiar in wheeled, flying and armored vehicles, but in the case of individual use, everything is not so simple. If we discard toys such as Pokemon Go and animated views of 200-ruble and 2000-ruble bills, then providing the user with real-time extended information about the surrounding world has become a serious challenge even for global technology corporations. The first to be burned on this Google with the Glass project, which was widely announced and looked forward to, but in the end there was one disappointment.


ARC4. Photo: ru.wikipedia.org

But at DARPA, for some time, they were developing very similar to Google Glass development, called ARC4, which later did not become a production model. In fact, it was a portable helmet-mounted indicator that informed the fighter about the most important thing on the battlefield - the position of his units, a map of the area, and also the location of the enemy. For some time, Americans tested a simpler information technology - tablets, smartphones and laptops, but came to the conclusion that all this seriously distracted fighters from an ever-changing tactical situation. Therefore, as in the case of ARC4, information must be displayed directly in the field of view of the soldier so that the hands also remain free.










Civil Microsoft HoloLens 2 and the nuances of their application. Photo: microsoft.com

The very idea of ​​expanding the information field of every American soldier during the battle did not leave the minds of the military. For over 5 years, Microsoft has been developing a military version of its HoloLens game points. As you can see, Microsoft did not go along the path of Google and did not begin to develop a universal device for augmented reality, but initially proposed a niche product compatible with Kinekt gaming technology. In the future, demand for it expanded significantly, especially from industry, the service sector, and even surgery. Naturally, the Pentagon could not miss a novelty with such potential, and Microsoft took up the defense order, while collecting charges of supporting American militarism.

HoloLens glasses are a complex device that forms a video sequence in front of the user in accordance with the spatial position of the head and the set of tasks to be performed. The device is equipped with four cameras (two on each side of the glasses), orienting the device in the surrounding world, and several microphones. HoloLens can recognize speech, several gestures and, most importantly, combine a real image with a synthesized one. Currently, in the version of HoloLens 2 running Windows 10, the device costs about $ 3500.

In the military specification, glasses are based on the second generation of development. "Combat" HoloLens should become the main elements of the IVAS system (Integrated Visual Augmentation System), which combines sights in a single field of thermal imaging and infrared vision weapons, navigation and a host of other information sources. At the same time, the glasses are connected wirelessly with sighting systems of personal small arms, which is an important advantage when shooting from around the corner and other shelters. In this version, “smart” glasses are interfaced with equipment from the promising American line of personal weapons Next Generation Squad Weapons. In addition, in the field of view of the fighters, glasses can project, for example, a plan of the building in which the unit and the location of each fighter are located.


HoloLens. Image: cnbc.com


The layout of the building in which the user is located is projected in three-dimensional form onto the screen. Image: cnbc.com

Few eyewitnesses who have time to try on a new product, claim that now a real battle can be like a game shootout in “Call of Duty”. Among the bonuses, the developers intend to introduce training and exercises into the system, as well as connect the user's heartbeat sensors to HoloLens to assess their functional state. For the harsh conditions of military life, by analogy with Ukrainian developments, HoloLens are enclosed in a shockproof case and equipped with a battery designed for four to five hours of continuous operation.


Picture of combining infrared and thermal imaging surveillance channels. Image: cnbc.com

Glasses both peaceful and in the military version are not associated with any head devices (tablets, smartphones and laptops), and this is a serious plus in terms of autonomy. And where now without artificial intelligence? In HoloLens 2 IVAS, the smart machine is responsible for target detection, tracking, and identification. This, by the way, is a very useful thing in such a gadget. Among US war veterans, there is criticism of such high-tech toys. The reason lies in the difficulty of identifying “friend or foe” in the combined visual field of infrared and thermal radiation. American users can only rely on AI, capable of determining in battle who is the enemy and who is the comrade. Moreover, the US defense department plans to purchase about 40 thousand of such fashionable military accessories next year, which will allow equipping every tenth soldier with them.
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  1. Ka-52 27 February 2020 06: 07 New
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    For a generation brought up by CoD and the like, such a thing will really like it. But even without discussing the technical potential of the device, the first minus arises - a fighter whose training is based on the use of a significant number of technical devices, being for some reason deprived of them is obviously doomed. In addition, these devices are good in landfill conditions. Any commander or fighter of the RG who crawled on the wet March snow in the mountains of Chechnya for several days with all the clothes on his shoulders will laugh at these points
    1. mark1 27 February 2020 06: 13 New
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      They interfere - removed, needed - dressed ... And then maybe they will make a lens on the pupil
      1. neri73-r 27 February 2020 09: 22 New
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        Quote: mark1
        They interfere - removed, needed - dressed ... And then maybe they will make a lens on the pupil


        This is not even the case, the issue of energy supply, the issue of electronic warfare, etc.
    2. Vladimir_2U 27 February 2020 07: 35 New
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      Especially will please the user "blue screen of death." )))
    3. Old Orc 27 February 2020 12: 24 New
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      In principle, the display functions from many gadgets, which now have their own separate screens, can be transferred to such glasses. and this is weight and energy consumption.
    4. psiho117 28 February 2020 11: 31 New
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      Quote: Ka-52
      Any commander or fighter of the RG who crawled on the wet March snow in the mountains of Chechnya for several days

      You see, the point is that there will be no need to crawl.
      They will try to shift such work "in the field" onto the shoulders of drones equipped with multi-range cameras, highly sensitive microphones, odor analyzer spectrometers, introvisors, vibration and electromagnetic field sensors ...


      The soldier will turn from an infantryman into a drone operator, and will sit in a protected bunker / car while drinking coffee.

      A living soldier will be needed only for rare occasions when interaction with civilians is required (for example, the release of hostages) - but, I think, they will come up with something there too - for example, a humanoid platform, or a cyborg-robocop
      The future is near bully
  2. mark1 27 February 2020 06: 09 New
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    And we need these!
  3. rocket757 27 February 2020 06: 30 New
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    For some time, Americans tested a simpler information technology - tablets, smartphones and laptops, but came to the conclusion that all this seriously distracted fighters from an ever-changing tactical situation.

    It was nice to eat on paper! But the soldiers are not "cyborgs" and really try to get rid of everything that reduces their chances of surviving in the battle ..... maybe when not later, when the technology develops and the soldiers will be different?
    1. psiho117 28 February 2020 11: 54 New
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      Quote: rocket757
      But the soldiers are not "cyborgs" and will really try to get rid of everything that reduces their chances of surviving in battle

      if it is spelled out in the charter, then he will not go anywhere.
      And why did you get the idea that augmented reality glasses would suddenly reduce his chances in battle? On the contrary, they will increase his situational awareness.
      For the commander, for example, it will be very convenient to see where his fighters are, what is their condition / ammunition, etc.
      And in general, people claiming about "It was beautiful to eat on paper!", apparently served a very long time, and do not know that the officers already carry a bunch of electronics that provide them with communication, control and navigation. And soon ordinary soldiers will wear it.
      For example, about the electronics of the "warrior / centurion" you can read here:
      http://veche-info.ru/news/4440?utm_compaign=article
      1. rocket757 28 February 2020 12: 05 New
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        Quote: psiho117
        if it is spelled out in the charter, then he will not go anywhere.

        This is not obvious, but in dire situations, the charters are laid down very easily.
        Quote: psiho117
        And why did you get the idea that augmented reality glasses would suddenly reduce his chances in battle? On the contrary, they will increase his situational awareness.

        And this is only a real check can ... prove / refute.
        Over time, when the concept is finalized, it may become a reality ... but not yet ready.
        1. Alexander Mosin April 23 2020 14: 47 New
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          Quote: rocket757
          And this is only a real check can ... prove / refute, Over time, but not yet ready.

          This and similar equipment has long been used by NATO forces for the past almost 20 years. And applied more and more, increasing efficiency. By your logic, sights with collimators are not needed. I’m wondering, do you think that stupid people are sitting in the Pentagon and similar institutions, who draw their ideas about the war from Hollywood? In general, in such things you can see the advantage of the free market, thousands of small engineering bureaus and enterprises offer thousands of divises, supposedly capable of making life easier for a soldier on the battlefield. And out of these thousands of divises hundreds are selected, dozens fall into the test and units later in the troops. For example, sniper calculation equipment was created by one engineer in the US for $ 30 in the mid-00s, when in Iraq, American soldiers were often fired on with impunity by various rebels and terrorists. A man created, experienced himself, proposed, now an irreplaceable device. The second good example is a Black Hornet micro UAV, a 20g helicopter, $ 30 is a complex, but the capabilities of this "toy" are serious, so the company received an order, they buy it for all kinds of MTRs.
          1. rocket757 April 23 2020 15: 01 New
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            You do not push your own logic.
            Everything in battle is simple - what works well helps, everything will be applied. Everything that interferes is thrown to the side.
            Progress cannot be stopped when the product shows itself, it will be better with it than without it, the product is accepted and goes into business.
            This product, something like that, will be used when it proves its effectiveness.
  4. Far B 27 February 2020 06: 40 New
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    What other additional reality does Amer need ??? they already have one additional reality for all, in which all Americans are superheroes, and the rest of the world is either dairy cows, or they’re wasting nothing under their feet, or “bad guys”. Therefore, Kim Jong-un for Trump is a Man-rocket (apparently, a negative character of some Trump comics), so they sue Suleimani (bullshit, they are superheroes - they can), etc. etc. Instead of an additional reality, this pathological nation must, on the contrary, return to real reality, otherwise everything would end badly. Although, if only for them - figs with them. And then, after all, half the world will be dragged away by themselves, supermen, their mother ...
  5. Vasily Ponomarev 27 February 2020 07: 02 New
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    ". By this time, the developer company HoloLens was already preparing to present a military version of its development, which forever overshadowed the Ukrainian craft." - How much bile, you can immediately see the "brotherly people"
    1. Ka-52 27 February 2020 07: 32 New
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      which forever overshadowed the Ukrainian crafts. "- how much bile, you can immediately see the" brotherly people "

      DIY
      Feminine
      A small product made by hand.
      all negative perception comes from a subjective assessment
    2. psiho117 28 February 2020 12: 00 New
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      Quote: Vasily Ponomarev
      immediately visible "brotherly people

      When modern Okraintsy begin to talk about "brotherhood", I, as a resident of Donetsk, only have the following reaction:
  6. The leader of the Redskins 27 February 2020 07: 22 New
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    A supplemented opponent to the points with additional reality attached?)) laughing
    This, of course, is a joke. Maybe in a couple of decades, without them, a fighter will not go to war, but the current realities ... Yesterday, at least ... I was looking for a dental clinic. In the courtyards where I had never been before, in a large sleeping bag. By the address. Scored on the phone. Flashed to me! Going and a little late. They call from the clinic, they are interested in where I am. I speak about school. It turns out that he deviated 90 degrees, had to return. Well, dentistry is not fatal, but in battle?
    1. Polite Moose 27 February 2020 07: 43 New
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      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      And is the augmented opponent attached to points with additional reality?

      Why not? In exercises on fire and tactical training, for example. As virtual targets and electronic launches in air defense personnel.
      I don’t know how much virtual reality devices will justify themselves in real databases (reliability, accuracy, reliability), but for the rear services (repair, supply, etc.) the thing would be very useful.
      1. Ka-52 27 February 2020 09: 38 New
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        but for the rear services (repairs, supplies, etc.), the thing would be very useful.

        haha)) they can do without your glasses. Constantly fuels and lubricants, spare parts and products from real to virtual laughing
        1. Polite Moose 27 February 2020 10: 53 New
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          Quote: Ka-52
          haha)) they can do without your glasses. Constantly fuels and lubricants, spare parts and products from real to virtual

          That’s precisely why these glasses are needed there. Any zavsklad for them mother will return to the circus. For example, a commission arrived with a check. They put such glasses on them, took them to the warehouse and that's all. Inventory acts signed. There is no shortage. Everything is in place. We were convinced personally. laughing
    2. IS-80_RVGK2 28 February 2020 11: 11 New
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      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      Well, dentistry is not fatal, but in battle?

      Do you even understand what you wrote? Without a mobile, you would have wandered for a long time asking random passers-by. So apparently better?
  7. IL-64 27 February 2020 07: 35 New
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    I have only one question on such devices with the infantry. And if the batteries do not deliver?
    1. psiho117 28 February 2020 12: 03 New
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      Quote: IL-64
      And if the batteries do not deliver

      And if the cartridges do not deliver? Grub Smoke? Water? Fuels and lubricants?
      Just the problem of not delivering the batteries is the most solved of all of them - they will introduce a manual dynamo into the gear for charging, and that’s all.
      1. IL-64 28 February 2020 12: 06 New
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        For some reason, the motor soldier took root in the Second World War only in partisan detachments
  8. Firelake 27 February 2020 09: 54 New
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    Given that fighting is increasingly moving to cities, these points are more than a good thing. Especially for the squad leader. He will be able to clearly plan the attack and defense, using the entire set of sensors that are with him, plus the ability to connect to other intelligence channels.
    There will be no war between large states. And in order to drive the barmalei and / or some unfinished people, such glasses will be super, complete with weapon systems with smart grenades and cartridges and the latest PPE soldiers will just be a terminator.
    1. Grandfather Crimea 27 February 2020 11: 06 New
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      With proper and reasonable use, as they say without fanaticism, a thing to help. At least at this stage ...
  9. ANB
    ANB 27 February 2020 10: 23 New
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    The detachment from combining a rear sight with a front sight for mass shooters is an old dream.
    Having full information about the environment and online communication also helps a lot.
    Those who have it all and works get a significant advantage over those who don’t.
    Naturally, if it stops working, then the northern furry animal comes.
    For comparison: a shooter with a gun has a huge advantage over even a very experienced fencer. Until the shooter runs out of ammo. But we do not refuse automatic machines because of this.
    1. Topgun 27 February 2020 11: 31 New
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      I absolutely agree, talking about batteries, dirt and other things in favor of the poor - in the end, they’ll finish it off
      the most important thing in battle is information, it allows you to control the situation
  10. Operator 27 February 2020 12: 18 New
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    All existing augmented reality glasses are not yet suitable for military use due to the projection method of transferring the image to the lenses of glasses - mini-projectors are very easily contaminated with dust.

    Army glasses require embedding transparent displays directly in the glasses, and this is still expensive.

    Plus, the sources of electricity for the operation of the computer set-top box for glasses still have a limited capacity (of the order of several hours), which ties the fighter to the BMP / BTR, where the second set of batteries is recharged, and also does not make it possible to equip special forces with glasses.

    But the “eternal” (50-year-old) nickel-63 batteries will solve all the problems of power supply for army glasses, computers, radio stations, night-vision devices, etc. etc. (the planned launch date for Rosatom production is 2020) bully
    1. Whalebone 27 February 2020 14: 19 New
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      I read about this isotope. The cost of a gram is $ 4000. The price of the battery is above 2 million rubles. Power density is low. It does not yet pull on a miracle battery.
      1. Operator 27 February 2020 14: 46 New
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        Where can I read about the prices of serial batteries? laughing
    2. bk316 27 February 2020 19: 02 New
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      All existing augmented reality glasses are not yet suitable for military use due to the projection method of transferring the image to the lenses of glasses - mini-projectors are very easily contaminated with dust.

      These glasses work: Oakley Airwave 1.5 mask
      In the snow, rain, dust and dirt for almost 10 years, as I use it.
  11. Erik 27 February 2020 14: 25 New
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    The whole world is moving forward, and only Russia has jerks, etc.)))))))
    1. Erik 28 February 2020 19: 48 New
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      Minus came in? They forgot how to think about the campaign.
  12. bk316 27 February 2020 19: 05 New
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    About 7 years ago I bought my son on DR Mask Oakley Airwave 1.5
    Everyone is fine, but my head really hurts them.
    And so charming - you ride a circuit diagram before your eyes.
    The speedometer is also cool.
  13. Andrey.AN 27 February 2020 23: 10 New
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    This is a symbiont, it’s not in itself, binding to a program, programmed actions, predictability, those who write the rules will spoil.
  14. Alexander Lik 28 February 2020 08: 41 New
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    Ukrainians should not worry about the lag in this area. Moreover, they can even claim first place, because the whole country lives in a virtual world.