The Norwegian military is using the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift to steer tanks, Norwegian website TU has reported.
The gaming glasses provide tank drivers with a 360° view of the surroundings of the vehicle, which are notoriously diffucult to drive. The VR goggles are linked to a live feed coming from four cameras attached to each side of the tank.
The experience, which is said to cause motion sickness among gamers and tank drivers alike, is described as looking out of a transparent car without any blind spots, or seeing through the armour of the tank.
„Those who play Battlefield can see much better than you do in an actual vehicle,“ says development manager at Making View, the company helping the Norwegian Army’s Combat Lab to pioneer its tank driving system, which costs around $2,000.
Room for Facebook to expand?
Having started out as one of the most successful Kickstarter tech projects, Oculus was acquired by Facebook earlier this year for around $2 billion. The social media giant claims it is „getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow“ and that „Oculus has the chance to be the most social platform ever.“
Major Ola Petter Odden of the Norwegian Combat Lab told TU that he sees Facebook’s purchase of Oculus as a good sign for military projects like this.
„We think it is very beneficial because they will now have the necessary funding needed to take this further. At the same time we see that competing systems are surfacing, which makes us very optimistic about getting glasses that are good enough.“
Feature image: MILAN, ITALY – OCTOBER 26: Guy tries a virtual reality headset at Games Week 2013, event dedicated to video games and electronic entertainment on OCTOBER 26, 2013 in Milan. via Shutterstock / copyright: Stefano Tinti