The US Military Is Building Its Own Metaverse

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        Just as tech companies and corporations are scrambling to develop strategies for virtual worlds many defense startups contractors and funders are increasingly talking up the metaverse even if its definition and utility aren’t always clear.The key technologies needed for the metaverse—augmented and virtual reality headmounted displays 3D simulations and virtual environments built by artificial intelligence—are already found in the defense world.

        A mix of augmented reality artificial intelligence and video game graphics for instance have enabled fighter pilots to practice dogfighting against virtual opponents including Chinese and Russian warplanes while pulling several Gs.Red 6 the company that’s developing the technology says this delivers a far more realistic test of a pilot’s abilities than a conventional flight simulator.Red6’s AR technology has to work in more extreme conditions with lower latency and higher reliability than consumer AR or VR headsets.

        Robinson adds that the company is now working on a platform that will allow many different scenarios to be represented in augmented or virtual reality.“What we’re building is really a military metaverse ” he says.The high-tech helmet for the new F-35 fighter jet for instance includes an augmented reality display that shows telemetry data and target information on top of video footage from around the aircraft.VR and AR have become routine aspects of military training in recent years.In 2014 the Office of Naval Research and the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California developed Project BlueShark a system that allowed sailors to drive vessels and collaborate in a virtual environment.

        Recently the US military has begun exploring more complex virtual worlds.There is also growing interest in connecting and combining virtual worlds in a way that resembles metaverse thinking.“The promise is integrating these technologies ” says Caitlin Dohrman general manager of the defense


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