I wish we had Augmented Reality in my NVG when I was in Afghanistan and Iraq. We would get lost at night in the “Sneek up” on our route to the Target Area. Everything looked the same in a city of sand, this way we could just plan our route in ATAK, select it in ARC4, and just follow it in our NVG’s. Our team would not have to open our phones every 1/8 of a mile. Our light discipline would be excellent without the exposure of the light coming off the phone and this definitely would have increased our Situational Awareness Perspective. I could have walked right up to the Soldier I needed and not have to go through 7 other guys that look the same at night. Motorcycle and ATV Operations would be awesome because you would not have to stop! “Being able to see past the capability of NVG’s is a game changer!”
Augmented Reality has found its place maximizing the already in use heads up display and navigational 2D data. ARA has released Augmented Reality Command Control Communicate and Coordinate, ARC4. This system is currently in use with Air Force Special Operations Command and deployed to Southwest Asia Theater of operations.
The ARC4 offers the unique advantage of using a HUD to show all necessary command and control functions in 3D. The HUD utilizes a Situational Awareness, SA, ring at the bottom of the screen. This shows you where you are, where you are looking, where teammates are and where tactical points of interest are around you. The software is intuitive as it moves to future check points as you progress. You can also send and receive commands, create new points of interest and define new navigation routes in real time without speaking over comms. This information can be used and created in real time by both in field personnel or remote higher command.
The all in one Recon device includes all of the necessary sensors to geo-locate the camera and the direction it is looking. The camera connects via any open port using Black Diamond Assaulter or Glenair cables and hubs. The cables connect the camera system to a Battle Management Program such as ATAK with the ATAK HUD plugin. Running that information back to a HUD connecting directly into a clip on night display, or Ecoti/Ecosi for system integration. The system also has a daytime HUD that integrates in standard mounting gear to place a clear lens to see all of the same information with full daylight.
The ARC4 recon truly is a heads up display that no longer requires you to look down at your map or navigational equipment. The ARC4 system with a network hub is designed not to eat up too much battery power. Lasting more than 8 hours on a small radio battery is not uncommon.