A new technology called “Tactical Augmented Reality,” or TAR, is now helping Soldiers precisely locate their positions, as well as the locations of friends and foes, said Richard Nabors.
It even enables them to see in the dark, all with a heads-up display device that looks like night-vision goggles, or NGV, he added. So in essence, TAR replaces NVG, GPS, plus it does much more.
the eyepiece is connected wirelessly to a tablet the Soldiers wear on their waist and it’s wirelessly connected to a thermal site mounted on their rifle or carbine.
If a Soldier is pointing his or her weapon, the image of the target, plus other details like the distance to target, can be seen through the eyepiece.
The eyepiece even has a split screen, so for example, if the rifle is pointed rearward and the Soldier is looking forward, the image shows both views, he said.
Also, a Soldier behind a wall or other obstacle could lift the rifle over the wall and see through the sites via the heads-up display without exposing his or her head.
The key technological breakthrough was miniaturizing the image to fit into the tiny one-inch-by-one-inch eyepiece.
Current commercial technology compresses images into sizes small enough to fit into tablet and cell phone-sized windows, but getting a high-definition image into the very tiny eyepiece was a challenge that could not be met with commercial, off-the-shelf hardware.
Finally, Geer said that TAR’s wireless system allows a Soldier to share his or her images with other members of the squad. The tablet allows Soldiers to input information they need or to share their own information with others in their squad.
In fiction the augmented vision was discussed in the Terminator 2 movie
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