When it comes to protection, a hulking vehicle made of armour is probably one of the safer places you can be. The downside of hanging out in a metallic womb though, is that it’s kind of tough to see out. That is until you strap on an Oculus Rift and turn the tank invisible.
With a series of externally mounted cameras, a PC and everyone’s favourite Facebook-owned VR headset, the Norwegian army is doing just that. The external cameras form a sphere of vision that shows way more than a mere window ever could, and a PC normalises the camera’s fish-eye view to look normal to the commander inside. There are more advantages to just seeing through solid steel too; an Oculus Rift setup like this also allows for a persistent heads-up display with all kinds of useful information.
Of course, this isn’t a new idea; F-35 helmets have done this same thing for years. But F-35 helmets also cost tens of thousands of dollars, whereas Rift dev kits are a bit cheaper. They’re also not quite good enough yet, and the Norwegian army notes that the resolution isn’t quiiiite high enough to make out things at a distance. Maybe when they get their hands on version two, that will change. [TU TV via The Verge]
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