The U.S. Army has jumped on the metaverse bandwagon after launching an immersive training program that is already being tested with fighter jets.
The U.S. Army has become the latest government unit to join the Web3 craze by creating its own metaverse with virtual and augmented realities. In the process of testing, two fighter jet pilots reportedly conducted a high-altitude simulation over the California desert on May 10.
The two pilots wore augmented reality headsets to fly a pair of Berkut 540 aircraft. Among other skills they tested was virtual aircraft refueling in the sky, with one pilot practicing refueling while the other watched.
The Army and Technology
The technologies used for AR and VR, head-mounted displays and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered environments are being developed by U.S. drone technology company Red 6. It allows pilots to engage in virtual dogfights against virtual enemy aircraft in a fully immersive 3D space.
The metaverse platform will allow pilots to simulate various battle scenarios in AR and VR using low-latency, high-reliability hardware.
Commenting on the program, Daniel Robinson, Red’s founder and CEO, likened the military metaverse to playing a video game in the sky. “What we’re building is really a military metaverse: it’s like a multiplayer video game in the sky.”
“We can fly against any threat we want – And that threat could be controlled by an individual remotely or by artificial intelligence.”
While the metaverse training program may be considered a relatively new concept in defense and warfare, AR and VR technologies have been around for some time, and several governments around the world already use them to train their forces.
The metaverse allows the military to create more interconnected virtual systems by integrating different technologies.
Caitlin Dohrman, managing director of the defense division of Improbable, a company that develops virtual world technologies, commented, “It’s an extremely complex type of simulation, especially because of the fidelity required by the military. You can have live players participating in the simulation or [participants] can be AI-powered, which is what the military typically does.”
Earlier this year, the UK was also reported to be running a similar program to train its military, while South Korea unveiled a multi-pronged strategy to become a major player in the global metaverse market.