TARS HeadsUp Display Brings Augmented Reality to the Battlefield

first_img Hands-On: Lego Hidden Side Packs Plenty of Spooky AR FunPut Women on U.S. Currency With Google’s AR App Stay on target New technology is helping US Army soldiers precisely locate not only their own positions but those of friends and foes.Tactical Augmented Reality (TAR) replaces night-vision goggles and global positioning systems with an all-in-one heads-up display.The one-inch-by-one-inch eyepiece mounted to a soldier’s helmet overlays a map of the terrain in their field of vision. It also wirelessly transmits data from a connected tablet and thermal imager to show the target and its distance.Boasting a split screen, the display also highlights forward and rearward views, giving users eyes in the back of their head. Or on top of their head: Simply lift the rifle over a wall or other obstacle to see the sites while staying hidden.Designed for use day and night, TAR wirelessly connects to a tablet worn on a soldier’s waist and to a thermal imager mounted on their firearm, allowing folks to share images with other members of the squad.The US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) has been working for nearly a decade to develop the technology necessary for TAR’s tiny eyepiece.The key, according to electronics engineer David Fellowes, was miniaturizing the image to fit the one-inch screen. Existing tech can compress pixels enough to fit on a smartphone-sized window. But CERDEC’s main challenge was creating new hardware to meet their needs.By 2010, the department achieved that goal, creating a system that works in black-and-white and a greenish monochrome, which has already been fielded in certain units.And while those versions are bright enough to be seen in daylight, CERDEC wants to produce more advanced models in full color, with an advanced brightness display.“TARs will provide soldiers with a much higher level of situational awareness than they currently have,” Fellowes said, adding that he expects the devices will “save lives and contribute to mission success.”Watch a simulation of the new Tactical Augmented Reality device in the video above, courtesy of the US Army.last_img read more