Feeds

$1m for seethrough vidspecs in DARPA VR war-graffiti plan

Plus gesture, voice and 'tactile' input devices

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Brobdingnagian arms company Lockheed yesterday passed on a million of its government greenbacks in a subcontract aimed at helping it achieve a new standard in interface tech. The cash goes to Washington-based Microvision Inc to develop "daylight-readable, see-through, low-profile, ergonomic" colour video specs.

DARPA photo comic illustrating the desired ULTRA-Vis capability

Herat, 2015. Sergeant Johnny Death and his boys hadn't come for a picnic.

The Lockheed-Microvision deal is part of a US military project named Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness & Visualization (ULTRA-Vis). It's intended to equip American combat troops not only with see-through video specs but also with a cunning "gesture recognition" interface allowing squad leaders to effectively scribble on the real world - for instance marking a door, and having the same mark show up in their teammates' specs as well.

“Microvision is very pleased to work with Lockheed Martin,” said Microvision veep Ian Brown. “By designing Microvision’s ultra-miniature PicoP Display Engine and our thin, clear Substrate Guided Relay (SGR) Optics into a wearable display, we have the potential to bring battery operable, low-profile, see-through, full-color eyewear displays to users. This eyewear display development could enable information content to be overlaid in the user’s field-of-view in operational environments, providing a critical information advantage.”

The PicoP teeny display gizmo is also used in pico projectors, vehicle displays and other kinds of wearable kit.

The ULTRA-Vis project comes, one need hardly say, from DARPA - the Pentagon's one-stop mad scientist shop. Apart from see-through vidspecs and gesture recognition, the final ULTRA-Vis should incorporate "voice and tactile command" interfaces, some sort of location system and a "head-tracking navigation unit" so that the video specs know which way they're pointing.

It would seem to be a race between DARPA and the smartphone app programmers for the futuristic wearable interfaces described by sci-fi writers too numerous to mention here.

There are more details on the ULTRA-Vis programme from DARPA here for those interested. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.