The ship commander can complete the “real-time control” of the entire ship and even the naval battle environment in the virtual scene.
BAE Systems, the number one arms dealer in Europe, is known as the “treasure chest” of the British army and is always the first to propose advanced technical solutions and weapons. At the end of November, the company announced an investment of £20 million to develop enhanced virtual reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enhance the performance of future Royal Navy ships.
“Magic glasses” show spirit
What AI and AR have in common is that they benefit from the rapid development of information technology, which turns from a theoretical concept to a practical product. In fact, the two technologies have been closely linked to ordinary people. Big data analysis, which is common in online shopping, is AI application; AR glasses are online hot products. In contrast, the military applications of these two technologies are less popular.
Given the maturity of AR and AI business applications, BAE is keenly aware that if applied to warship combat systems, it will help sailors make better decisions during wartime and be more prepared to respond to threats.
It is reported that in the investment of BAE, the funds of the AR part are used to integrate the technology into the bridge function of the existing ship. Frank Coton, director of the company’s combat system division, believes that the on-duty staff on the bridge “often overloaded with work”, facing various forms and sources of information such as text, pictures, videos, and oral reports, is extremely complicated to handle, he hopes Through AR glasses and other products to solve, “data from radar, sonar, optoelectronic devices and other sensors through the data link into the AR glasses, the officer on duty does not have to stay in the control room, no matter where on the ship, he can be timely Get situational data and key information.”
Not only that, after wearing AR glasses, the commander will launch a work interface similar to the sci-fi movie, and a virtual “real world view” will appear in front of him. Information such as the location of the friend ship will appear visually in this field of vision, allowing the crew to look like As with real objects, you can understand your status and location at a glance. In this mode, the commander can spend more time keeping the attention to the various situations and changes in the field of view instead of staring at the console or being busy listening to the crew. If the target is found to be potentially threatening to the ship, the operator can calibrate the target directly in the system, and the users in the entire system will see it without having to specifically notify the specific population. This way, you can build a more efficient and accurate workflow in the battle environment.
In fact, BA’s planned application of AR, the source of technology comes from the new concept helmet used by the Royal Navy’s F-35B carrier-based pilots, which provides a hybrid display of real-world environments and digital intelligence, from which pilots can identify enemy and friendly forces. The difference between the target and the attack method within a few seconds. However, when used on a ship, the sailor naturally cannot use the pilot’s helmet directly. BAE intends to test with ready-made commercial products, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses, which are lighter, easier to purchase and maintain, and also facilitate the rotation of different duty personnel.
Movie becomes reality
Another focus of BAE’s investment is to integrate AI assistants into the combat system, allowing users to quickly process data and make decisions faster and more accurately. Similar AI assistants have long been commonplace in civilian products, such as Siri built on iPhones, “Little Ice” developed by Microsoft Corporation, and “Little Love” developed by Xiaomi. BAE hopes that the AI assistant on the ship will provide users with the most critical and important information through data analysis, and also give suggested action options. Previously, BAE developed a “shared infrastructure” technology based on an open architecture for the Royal Navy. It is similar to the AppStore on mobile phones, allowing the crew to add new functions to the combat system, improve stability and work ability, and respond to various bursts. Happening. This technology allows the warship combat system to be quickly reset to accommodate the needs of a particular operational environment.
Coton believes: “The AI assistant has the potential to change the naval style, can greatly enhance the situational awareness, and make the Royal Navy more efficient.” It is reported that the AI assistant will be the first military exercise in Southampton in March 2019. Tested, the warships tested were British 23 frigates. If all goes well, they will be promoted to other British ships in the second half of 2019.
In fact, many countries are testing the military applications of AR and AI. For example, the US Army intends to use AR for its soldier training system, allowing soldiers to better adapt to the theater environment. However, the idea of BAE should be said to push the actualization of these technologies forward. Once realized, the “future combat mode” like in science fiction movies may soon become a reality