For years, video game players have inhabited virtual combat worlds like those of the game “Halo,” in which the main character has an advanced combat display that aids in an interstellar fight. Now, the U.S. Special Operations Command wants to bring capabilities like that to the real world.
The special forces command hosted an “industry collaboration session” known formally as “Optical Dominance Industry Day” at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on Nov. 14. The meeting was conducted in partnership with the Defense Department’s Rapid Reaction Technology Innovation Outreach Program, which “develops risk-reducing prototypes and demonstrations of land, sea, and air systems that address mission-focused combatant command, joint-Service, and interagency capability needs to counter emerging threats and provide a hedge against technical uncertainty.”
The outreach effort provides some insight into the kinds of capabilities SOCOM might possibly outfit special forces soldiers with in the future. It points to a future battlefield in which soldiers are fed information processed by artificial intelligence and their visual capabilities are enhanced by technologies like AR and VR.