One powerful multinational defense company is now developing a pair of contact lenses it believes will enormously help soldiers on the battlefields of tomorrow. Using the latest innovations in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), these contact lenses will be able to help soldiers see their enemies with greater clarity than ever before.
Researchers at the British-based firm BAE Systems have been trying to develop contact lenses that could help soldiers see in what techies refer to as "mixed reality." "Mixed reality" basically means seeing both the real and virtual world through one device at the same time.
The engineers on this project told reporters that they've drawn inspiration from the work done on the Oculus Rift VR headset. These engineers also said that a good way to describe what soldiers would see with these contact lenses is like what fighter pilots already see with heads-up display (HUD).
Some of the images soldiers wearing these contacts will be able to see include drone footage, video feeds, and even avatars. Soldiers can use these contacts to view various different places around the world, and they can even use their contacts to zoom in and out of their current location.
Everyone using these high-tech contacts will also be equipped with a small command centre. This command centre is about the size of a briefcase and comes with a headset and a pair of interactive gloves. Once a soldier puts his contacts on and turns on his portable command centre, a mixed reality control station should appear right before his eyes. He'll be able to use his/her gloves just like s/he would on a computer to choose from the various command options.
Workers at BAE Systems are very excited about this new product. One BAE project leader, Nick Colosimo, told journalists that BAE Systems' contacts will help "…to provide battle-winning and life-saving tools and insights, wherever they may be." He also said we could expect more "mixed reality" devices to enter both the military and the consumer market as the years progress.
Currently, most companies working on "mixed reality" products are only working on headsets or glasses. Most VR experts believe the industry will have perfected "mixed reality" glasses in about 10 years time. These same experts predict that "mixed reality" contact lenses have at least 20 more years to go before perfection. Although many tech critics are impressed with BAE Systems' technology, they don't believe it will be ready for distribution in the near-term.
BAE Systems is a multinational defense company founded in 1999. This firm creates products such as defense electronics, munitions, naval vessels, and military aerospace. Currently, BAE Systems is headquartered in London and Farnborough.