There is a huge difference for combat troops between being told a mortar has destroyed their command outpost and seeing the destruction firsthand. Certainly, blowing things up comes with a variety of risks and costs. This is one key reason that the U.S. Defense Department has turned to augmented reality technologies for many of its operational tasks.
A joint industry effort has produced ruggedized augmented reality glasses that securely deliver real-time multimedia information to first responders. The solution, developers say, would shave precious minutes off response times, which could mean the difference between life or death.
Such technologies are picking up traction in law enforcement and military environments as officials look to the virtual world for life-saving solutions.
U.S. Navy researchers recently wrapped up development of prototypical augmented reality glasses designed to display situational awareness data for combat Marines. The head-mounted display will provide warfighters a stream of relevant mission data within their field of view, allowing them to conduct operations in remote environments without taking their hands off their weapons or their eyes off the battlefield.
Get a new perspective on the world with the Layar app for iPhone and Android that displays real-time information over top of the image on your phone's camera. The free app uses your GPS location and augmented reality technology to discover information about the world around you and present it in "layers" on your smartphone. Choose from a catalog of more than 3,000 layers and experience the world in a new way. For example, if you're traveling to a country on business and looking for a restaurant, open the "Eat" layer and point the phone camera at the street in front of you. Various restaurant names and locations will pop up over the image. You can even see reviews in another layer.
New technology using augmented reality blends digital data with the real world-blurring the line between computer-generated images and what we actually see. And the latest example of this concept is the Plane Finder AR app, which can instantly find the flight number, speed, altitude and more of an aircraft overhead. Pinkfroot Limited created Plane Finder AR for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and the app utilizes the augmented reality capabilities of the smart phone to track flights overhead.