DOD deploys AR / VR technology on 5G test bench
The Department of Defense has started rolling out 5G-powered augmented reality / virtual reality systems at some of its 5G test bed sites, which are part of a larger $ 600 million initiative to expand the 5G capabilities of the DOD which was first announced in October 2020.
GBL Systems Corp. and Samsung will showcase 5G-enabled AR / VR versions of live military training exercises in the field in which users will interact with virtual obstacles found in the battle theater and see data and instrument overlays on the physical environment. The technology aims to advance mission planning, make training more accessible, and improve operations.
Several trainees will be able to interact simultaneously with the digital environment, by visualizing real-time data overlays on the physical environment with their AR / VR glasses. Testing will initially begin in a lab, but the pilot will then use Samsung’s mid-range radios to expand the capability to a brigade level of soldiers.
While GBL will be responsible for the prototype creation and technological integration, Samsung will provide access to its network of 5G products – its Massive MIMO radios, its cloud-native 5G standalone core and its 5G Galaxy mobile devices – and to its technical expertise.
The testing process will allow the DOD to work with the two companies to verify the deployment of a scalable, resilient and secure 5G network for planning and training AR / VR-based missions, Samsung officials said.
“This effort has the potential to revolutionize the way the DoD performs distributed training exercises that are more combat-like to dramatically advance combatant readiness,” said Jim Buscemi, CEO of GBL.
Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of Capital Region media. He can be contacted at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.