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Augmented Reality Systems for soldiers are set to Revolutionize Battlefield Operations by drastically improving the situational awareness & decision-making

Military to succeed in their missions, require a robust, multi-faceted picture of their operational environments, including the location, nature and activity of both threats and allied forces around them. Warfare is becoming increasingly networked, so finding an effective way to quickly display the deluge of information available, in an easily digestible format, has never been more important.

Many future military operations are expected to occur in urban environments which faces many  challenges like complex 3D environment, dynamic situation, limited visibility, lack of familiarity with the environment, sniper threats, concealment of enemy forces, ineffective communications, and a general problem of locating and identifying enemy and friendly forces.

Currently maps are being used that maps draw a user’s attention away from the environment and cannot directly represent the three-dimensional nature of the terrain. Better situational awareness is required for effective operation in the urban environment.


AR is a tool with the capacity to do just that. Augmented Reality technology is making this kind of rich, real-time situational awareness increasingly available to for aircraft, submarines and tanks and other vehicle-assigned forces, along with a capacity to deploy precision armaments more safely, quickly and effectively. Military augmented reality systems are also being used by divers underwater. According to GlobalData estimates, AR will generate revenues of $152 billion globally by 2030, and the defence sector is leading the charge.


This is different from Virtual reality  which creates a virtual world for users to interact with.  VR creates a simulated environment that engrosses the user’s perceptions, a completely virtual experience with no recourse to the real world. It is more about what users feel or experience in that world than how they connect with it.


Augmented reality, on the other hand, blends elements of a virtual world with the real world, so it is more about how the user interacts with those various elements and the components of the real world. Furthermore, virtual reality is well-suited for the gaming, training and simulation sectors, while augmented reality is better positioned in the commercial, industrial, educational and medical sectors.


AR superimposes sounds, graphics, and other elements to the real world — but the virtual and real worlds remain separate. An observer can experience both real and virtual elements in real-time but can’t make them interact. Mixed Reality, on the other hand, brings the real and virtual worlds together. In MR, virtuality and actuality interact in real-time. MR enables users to manipulate and communicate with virtual and physical environments or objects through high-level imaging and sensing technologies.


Soldiers do not have constant access to information – maps, health scores, enemy location – like they do in the video games. Rather, they must stop what they are doing and reference a paper map or electronic tablet, putting them in a precarious situation. To remedy this issue, the Army has attempted to develop a heads-up display (HUD) that can provide critical information to a soldier within their field of view.


Militaries  such as Infantry squads, however, have fallen behind because many of these systems are too bulky to carry on the frontline says DARPA. Under the SXCT (SXCT) program, DARPA envisions future supersoldiers using advanced technologies, such as augmented reality (AR), to intuitively understand and control their complex mission environments and enable them to combat advanced adversaries all across the globe.


The augmented reality or AR displays will let soldiers access more and better battlefield data, researchers say. The information includes travel routes through dust storms and other hazards, battlefield threats around the vehicle and navigation support, even in areas where GPS is unavailable.

AR use cases in the military

The military is one of the first industries to fully realise the many different use cases that AR caters for. In defence, AR is primarily used in manufacturing and engineering. It is multifaceted, enabling workers to work more accurately, aiding remote assistance collaboration, and can replace paper manuals by providing step-by-step instructions. The advantages of remote assistance and instruction are also being adopted by military medics.

As well as this, AR is becoming an increasingly important part of training for the military as simulated assets can be displayed as if in the real world. AR is being used in battlefield applications too, for pilots and infantry, to enhance a soldier’s situational awareness and reaction times.

AR Challenges

Augmented Reality technology is now being developed for combat soldiers. Mobile augmented reality system  consists of a computer, a tracking system, and a see-through Head Mounted Display. The system tracks the position and orientation of the user’s head and superimposes graphics and annotations that are aligned with real objects in the user’s field of view. With this approach, complicated spatial information can be directly aligned with the environment. For example, the name of a building could appear as a “virtual sign post” attached directly to the side of the building. The graphics are registered (aligned) with the actual environment. For example, an augmented view of a building could include a wireframe plan of its interior, icons to represent reported locations of snipers and the names of adjacent streets.

Over three decades, numerous development efforts have failed due to technical and programmatic challenges. One is the need for high value graphical displays which provide the relevant, critical information for a user’s current context. These displays should be precisely registered with the environment.

There are three major Research areas, write Simon Julier and others in BARS: Battlefield Augmented Reality System, tracking (estimating where the user is located), user interface design (what the user sees) and user interaction (how does the user make requests, reports and queries from the system).

First, an information distribution system is being developed which distributes to a mobile user only a relevant subset of the common tactical picture. Certain types of objects (such as the location of enemy forces) are extremely important and should be known by all users all the time.

Second, to prevent information overload, we have developed an intelligent filter which selects and prioritizes the type of augmented information which is needed by a user’s mission profile. If the system simply shows the user all information which is known about the environment, the result can be a highly cluttered display which is difficult to interpret. To overcome this problem, BARS utilizes an intelligent information management filter to decide which entities have the highest priority and must be shown to the user


Finally, high performance tracking and calibration systems are required to achieve accurate registration. Once the set of objects have been determined, they must be drawn in such a way that they correctly align with the real world. The user viewing direction in the virtual world is determined at each frame using the position and orientation measured by the corresponding position and orientation sensors. Because of the characteristics of the display (such as field of view), the properties of the trackers (such as biases) and due to the fact that each user wears the display slightly differently, a precise calibration system which can be applied, while the user is in the field, must be used.

AR has some inherent problems. These include connectivity issues, difficulty in the orientation and alignment of the real-world and simulated objects, low processing power and weak radio signals for deployed troops, weight issues for infantry, difficulties in seeing AR-generated objects in natural light, and the limited field of view that wearable AR devices offer.

While these advanced capabilities of augmented and virtual reality have the potential to revolutionize many industries in positive ways, they also introduce new threats. The implementation of augmented reality in a highly classified environment, industrial control facility, nuclear power station, military base, or any research and development lab that supports defense research could lead to disaster in the wrong hands. Researchers at the University of New Haven, for example, have demonstrated a vulnerability that let an attacker trick a VR user into crashing into a wall. In another case, a University of California, Davis, researcher showed that VR tracking sensors can be compromised to allow attackers to peek into the user’s physical space.

US soldier’s ARC4 on-the-move augmented reality technology system

US Soldiers now use Google Glass-like augmented reality system designed for the battlefield. Called ARC4, it allows commanders to send maps and other information directly to the soldier’s field of vision. The gadget attaches to a military helmet, and can even be integrated with weapons control system. The firm behind it, Applied Research Associates, says the system was developed as part of a six year project with substantial investment from the US Military’s DARPA unit.


Rather than looking down at a 2D map or chest-worn computer, the soldier sees virtual icons (such as navigation waypoints, friendly/blue forces, and aircraft) overlaid on their real-world view. ‘You are able to perform your mission with high awareness of their surroundings, with enhanced safety, speed, and in close coordination with team members,’ ARA claims. 


The software uses Global Positioning System data, helmet-camera data, and inertial sensors to “geo-register” the soldier’s field of view. That allows symbols designating waypoints, points of interest, and friendly forces to be projected on what the soldier sees, as well as a navigational “compass” showing the direction to tracked objects when they’re not in view. Additionally, a 3-D model of terrain can be superimposed on the real world to help in navigation.


In Nov.  2021  U.S. Sen. John Hoeven joined UND President Andrew Armacost and other leaders in announcing a new $5 million contract between the University, New Mexico-based Applied Research Associates and the Department of Defense. The contract supports the third phase of the project, in which UND – in partnership with ARA – is developing and testing an augmented-reality display system on an Army Humvee or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.


The project is especially notable because it’s a cooperative effort between several departments at UND, said Mark Askelson, executive director of the University’s Research Institute for Autonomous Systems, or RIAS. These include RIAS, Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering, the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Psychology. “For example, we want to give the vehicle operators ‘environmental intelligence,’ including but not limited to, the weather,” Askelson said.


Likewise, project developers are taking great care to make sure their display isn’t a safety hazard, Askelson said. Cluttering up a windshield with too much projected information almost certainly would distract the driver. So, UND psychologists and others are conducting “human factors” research, figuring out how to project only a very few feeds of the most useful information.


US soldier’s Tactical Augmented Reality,” or TAR  enable them to see even in the dark

A novel technology called “Tactical Augmented Reality,” or TAR, is now helping Soldiers precisely locate their positions, as well as the locations of friends and foes, said Richard Nabors, an associate at CERDEC. It even enables them to see in the dark, all with a heads-up display device that looks like night-vision goggles, or NGV, he added. So in essence, TAR replaces NVG, GPS, plus it does much more.


TAR does the geo-registration automatically, he said. Geo-registration is the alignment of an observed image with a geodetically-calibrated reference image. Staff Sgt. Ronald Geer, a counterterrorism non-commissioned officer at CERDEC’s Night Vision and Electronics Sensors Directorate, said that with TAR, Soldiers don’t have to look down at their GPS device. In fact, they no longer need a separate GPS device because with TAR, the image is in the eyepiece, which is mounted to the Soldier’s helmet in the same way NVG is mounted. So what they would see, he said, is the terrain in front of them, overlaid with a map.


Furthermore, Geer pointed out that the eyepiece is connected wirelessly to a tablet the Soldiers wear on their waist and it’s wirelessly connected to a thermal site mounted on their rifle or carbine. If a Soldier is pointing his or her weapon, the image of the target, plus other details like the distance to target, can be seen through the eyepiece. The eyepiece even has a split screen, so for example, if the rifle is pointed rearward and the Soldier is looking forward, the image shows both views, he said.  Also, a Soldier behind a wall or other obstacle could lift the rifle over the wall and see through the sites via the heads-up display without exposing his or her head.


Finally, Geer said that TAR’s wireless system allows a Soldier to share his or her images with other members of the squad. The tablet allows Soldiers to input information they need or to share their own information with others in their squad.


David Fellowes, an electronics engineer at CERDEC, said that the key technological breakthrough was miniaturizing the image to fit into the tiny one-inch-by-one-inch eyepiece. Current commercial technology compresses images into sizes small enough to fit into tablet and cell phone-sized windows, but getting a high-definition image into the very tiny eyepiece was a challenge that could not be met with commercial, off-the-shelf hardware.

Microsoft Integrated Visual Augmentation System

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) is an augmented-reality headset that overlays digital objects such as maps or video displays on top of the real world in front of warfighters. The glass visor is capable of displaying location data – the wearer can confirm their position using a compass and locate members of the squad using an almost miniaturised blue force tracker – as well as 3D and thermal images, allowing soldiers see through smoke. The IVAS system shows the reticle right through the visor, and the US Army also uses it to formulate ‘after-action’ reports summarising a soldier’s marksmanship and performance during a training exercise. The US Army is working on shrinking the current iteration of IVAS so its works with existing helmets.

Soldiers test new IVAS technology, capabilities with hand-on exercises | Article | The United States Army

The success of the IVAS is that it is built upon the Microsoft Hololens platform, which has achieved a good amount of commercial success. Microsoft launched the original Hololens in 2016, and the system was considered very user friendly and straightforward. The main issues with the Hololens were related to its limited field of view, such that graphics would not appear in the user’s periphery. Additionally, many users complained about eye fatigue or dizziness if worn for too long. Microsoft recently resolved many of these issues with the Hololens 2.


Microsoft  secured a $479 million-plus contract with the U.S. Army for Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) prototypes. According to the government proposal, the program is intended to “accelerate lethal defensive and offensive capabilities utilizing innovative components.” The  contract could lead to the military buying more than 100,000 augmented reality headsets from Microsoft, positioning the military as a massive consumer of its HoloLens technology. Specifications provided by the military show the devices seem intended for use in active combat roles. The headsets would be part of a $500+ million Army program to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy.”


So far Hololens have been used for training or demonstrated as an aide for field technicians servicing equipment. Even in other countries, where the technology is being considered for battlefield use, the scope has been narrow, such as a Ukrainian test of a Hololens-equipped helmet that gives tank commanders a 360-degree view of the world outside their tank. By the end of 2021, the Army will have fielded up to 40,000 Integrated Visual Augmentation Systems (IVAS).


“One of the interesting things about the Hololens is that it does have a set of sensors on it, tracking your position within a space. With those sensors, it can be somewhat aware of what’s going on in the environment around you. If it can be aware of what’s going on around you…and provide some additional information about equipment you are working with, or a situation you are dealing with, that can be really helpful to soldiers,” says David Krum, the associate director of MxR Lab at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). He points out there are limits to how much a soldier can be briefed in advance, so in a rapidly changing situation, “being able to access information right away and have it be contextualized, I think that’s seen as a way to give a 10x boost in efficiency and operational strength.”


It expects devices to vary from their consumer-grade counterparts in a handful of key respects.  Taking a commercial product intended for a mass market and making it suitable for front-line use will pose a number of challenges, Krum says. “It needs to be dustproof, waterproof, shock resistant, scratch resistant. There will be bright sunlight and very dim light, and it needs to be able to operate [in both].” In a document shared with companies bidding on the contract, the Army said it wanted to incorporate night vision and thermal sensing, measure vital signs like breathing and “readiness,” monitor for concussions and offer hearing protection.


However, the IVAS is far from a simple Hololens spin-off. Rather, Microsoft opted to do a four-iteration spiral development process to develop the IVAS. Each iteration adds new capabilities and undergoes limited user tests, with feedback being integrated into the subsequent iteration. The first iteration was primarily a Hololens with new software that integrated with other Army systems.


The third iteration is currently undergoing tests, with the fourth iteration expected in 2021, prior to the system’s fielding. The Army’s program is currently known as HUD 3.0 (for “heads up device”) or the Integrated Visual Augmentation System. HUD 3.0 will allow the warfighter to ‘Train as You Fight,’ with identical training/operational weapons and equipment in any terrain,” wrote the Army in its Statement of Objectives. For training, soldiers would take part in simulated assaults and respond to “ambushes and chemical attacks,” with footage “recorded from all angles” that would be analyzed later. In combat, “digital images would show soldiers digital maps, or help them aim their weapons” and be used for communication.


The final version will include an array of combat capabilities including thermal and night vision sensors, threat detection, and target acquisition aids. The IVAS will also include several revolutionary features such as language translation tools and 3D mapping. If Microsoft’s efforts are successful, the Hololens could also improve the flow of information up and down the chain of command. “If I can send a squad into a [building and create an internal map] as they go, that could be given to a commander and maybe that map could be used to help out that operation right away, or create a better understanding of what to do next time [in a similar structure],” says Krum.


Microsoft has won a Pentagon contract for augmented reality headgear for soldiers worth $21.88 billion (Rs. 1,60,290 crores) over the next decade, the company and the US military announced  in April 2021. The headsets, based on commercially available HoloLens, will make soldiers safer and more effective, according to Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman. Microsoft will rapidly start producing the so-called Integrated Augmentation System under the contract. The award aims “to deliver next-generation night vision and situational awareness capabilities to the Close Combat Force at the speed of relevance,” the Pentagon said. A head-mounted display used by soldiers for battle and training employs sensors for night and thermal vision in addition to providing data for help in engaging targets and making tactical decisions, officials said.


British engineers from BAE Systems developing ‘Mixed’ Reality

British engineers from BAE Systems are working in collaboration with academics at the UK’s University of Birmingham to develop applications for this ground-breaking technology concept, which “mixes together” the real and virtual worlds to allow operators to take real-time control of their environments.


The revolutionary concept called ‘mixed reality’ shall allow the commanders to see themselves and their surroundings along with virtual images, video feeds, objects and avatars, seamlessly bringing together the critical battlefield elements in a single place. The technology is brought to life by an ‘Oculus Rift’ style headset allowing military commanders to direct military operations, such as troops and Unmanned Air Vehicles, across a virtual representation of the landscape for real situations or simply as part of a training solution.


Nick Colosimo, Futurist at BAE Systems, said: “We’re already seeing virtual and augmented reality becoming more commonplace in consumer products, and the possibilities it offers the armed forces are hugely exciting. Our unique approach will identify the optimal balance between the real world and the virtual – enhancing the user’s situational awareness to provide battle-winning and life-saving tools and insights wherever they may be.


Professor Bob Stone, Simulation & Human Factors Specialist at the University of Birmingham said:”Being able to physically manipulate virtual objects in the real world has been challenging scientists for 40 years. Since my first virtual reality experience at NASA nearly 30 years ago, the technology has evolved from the primitive head-mounted displays and computers to today’s world where we can interact with complex virtual objects, integrated in real-time with real-world scenarios.”


For now the research is focused on two concepts: a portable command centre roughly the size of a briefcase, and a ‘wearable cockpit’.

Portable Command Centre

The Portable Command Centre concept uses commercial technology to create a semi-virtual environment that can be transported in a briefcase and set up anywhere from within a tent to an office to tackle emergency scenarios such as an outbreak of fire or an act of terrorism.


Users put on a virtual reality headset and interactive gloves – and a mixed reality control station appears around them. Users can monitor situations anywhere in the world, zooming in and manipulating environments, directing troops and pulling in virtual video screens that allow them to monitor news channels and feeds from UAVs. As well as this, users can bring in artificially intelligent avatars that monitor the entire environment, provide real-time voice updates and even offer advice when asked.

BAE Systems Q-Warrior: Google Glass for Military

BAE Systems have already developed Q-Warrior, a full-color, 3D heads-up display designed to provide soldiers in the field with rapid, real-time situational awareness. Q-Warrior consists of a high-resolution transparent display that overlays data and a video stream over the soldier’s view of the world. Q-Warrior also includes enhanced night vision, waypoints and routing information, and the ability to identify hostile and non-hostile forces, track personnel and assets, and coordinate small unit actions.


“Q-Warrior increases the user’s situational awareness by providing the potential to display ‘eyes-out’ information to the user, including textual information, warnings and threats,” Paul Wright, the soldier systems business development lead at BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems, said in a statement. Q-Warrior is initially expected to be deployed with Special Forces and at the section commander level, but BAE says it expects the technology to eventually reach all soldiers.


“This is likely to be within non-traditional military units with reconnaissance roles, such as Forward Air Controllers/Joint Tactical Aircraft Controllers (JTACS) or with Special Forces during counter terrorist tasks,” said Wright. “The next level of adoption could be light role troops such as airborne forces or marines, where technical systems and aggression help to overcome their lighter equipment.”




The first stand-alone contact lens with a flexible micro battery

French engineering school IMT Atlantique revealed what it calls “the first stand-alone contact lens with a flexible micro battery” in April 2019. The biggest challenge that IMT Atlantique engineers encountered was to scale down the battery. But thanks to a newly developed flexible micro battery, they found a way to continuously light an LED light source for “several hours,” according to a press release. “Storing energy on small scales is a real challenge.”, says Thierry Djenizian. This battery made it possible to continuously supply a light source such as a light-emitting diode (LED) for several hours. A partnership with the contact lens manufacturer LCS has enabled the first elements of this new type of intelligent contact lens to be encapsulated (the LED can be easily integrated into the contact lens if necessary).


This opens up huge markets, while at the same time imposing new constraints on precision and integration.” says Jean-Louis de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye. The battery integrated within the lens will complement and power other functions being developed at IMT Atlantique, such as RF communication (wireless function) and particularly optical detection of gaze direction. The applications are vast, ranging from health (surgical assistance) to automotive (driving assistance) and concern the emerging connected objects sector.


And now the military wants in on the project as well. DARPA is reportedly interested in the contact lens to augment troops’ visual capabilities in the field. Even tech giant Microsoft is ready to invest two million euros, according to the magazine.


This project will also be an opportunity to integrate the latest advances in graphene-based flexible electronics in particular, which will make it possible to work with transparent materials, a great advantage in the case of a contact lens. This innovation illustrates a key function of augmented human beings (assisted vision), a biosensory paradigm (e.g. bio-acceptability, autonomy, computational complexity, communication systems, micro-battery etc.). This project will involve numerous collaborations, including one with the Institut de la Vision in Paris, for a visual assistance device for the blind.


BAE developing eye tracking technology for future fighter jets

A team of experts at BAE Systems is developing eye tracking technology to enable pilots to control the future fighter jets. Named ‘wearable cockpit’, the new technology will provide fighter jet pilots with a virtual display projected through the helmet. This will enable pilots to quickly access, assess and act on critical information, providing easy control on the cockpit of the aircraft.


BAE Systems lead technologist Jean Page said: “In terms of future concepts, we are looking at what we are calling a ‘wearable cockpit’. “Here, you remove many of the physical elements of the cockpit, and replace it with a virtual display, projected through the helmet. Essentially, it’s a software-only cockpit that’s upgradeable, adaptable and reconfigurable.” “In such a world, we need to think about what controls are critical to the pilot and then make them easier to manage. Eye tracking gives you the option of looking at something to highlight it and then making a gesture to ‘press’ a button, rather than having a series of physical buttons on the aircraft.”


The eye tracking technology will be able to understand the direction where a pilot is looking during a particular phase of a mission and use intelligent systems to support task performance, reducing the pilot’s workload. Jean added: “We want to do it in a way that doesn’t always ask for permission, because that would get very annoying very quickly but equally, it is essential that it is always evident to the pilot what task the intelligent system is performing.”


US Soldiers To Get Futuristic Combat Goggles

The US Army is taking delivery of a first batch of high-tech combat goggles made by Microsoft Corp., citing encouraging results from testing in the field, reported in Sep 2022. Due to concerns regarding the device’s performance, their delivery had been delayed for want of more rigorous testing. Based on the test results, the service “is adjusting its fielding plan to allow for time to correct deficiencies,” Beck said.


Microsoft Corp has developed the goggles as part of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) designed to improve troop vision in warfare by expanding the field of view, enhancing depth perception, and getting beyond the limitations of human vision.


Microsoft owned Osterhaut Design Group (ODG) is currently working with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and TechSolutions to give U.S. Marine signals intelligence (SIGINT) specialists an augmented environment for the battlefield by designing augmented-reality glasses to create digital overlays of real-time information.


The X-6 system, the one being developed, has stereoscopic optics to provide a virtual display and built-in communication devices for transferring and receiving data. The glasses only weigh 4.5 ounces, little compared to many commercial headsets. ODG and TechSolutions modified the X-6 glasses to have a toggling weapons-mounted interface that allows Marines to take their positions and fire their weapons accurately. The OS is Android, which allows the Marines to test out and deploy new applications easily. Other applications include directional markers, maps of the surrounding environment, friendly force tracking and different alerts for sending to different groups of soldiers


Market Growth

The augmented reality & mixed reality market is valued at USD 2.98 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach USD 27.44 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 44.74%, over the forecast period (2020 – 2025).


One of the most popular application of Augmented reality was demonstrated in the game Pokemon Go in 2016, where players targeted to search for virtual creatures on their smartphones. Another one is Playstation VR, which is a console for playing Virtual Reality based games.
The two technologies, AR and VR collectively, have already created scenarios that once seemed impossible, by years of innovations. For instance, products like the Oculus Go will allow users to download games, apps, and other experiences right from their phone and sync the games to the headset itself, eliminating the need to connect it to a VR-ready computer, which was required by Oculus Rift.


However, with the introduction of mixed reality, the major factors driving the mixed reality in gaming market is unceasing growth of the gaming industry. Mixed reality in gaming provides an immersive virtual environment and enables gamers to experience virtual reality on their gadgets. For example, the launch of Microsoft Hololens motion controllers and developer kits is serving to aid market players to stimulate the development of mixed reality in gaming.


Furthermore, the increasing adoption of mixed reality in gaming technology in amusement parks and military training is likely to stimulate the application of mixed reality in the gaming industry. For instance, the large theme parks in developed countries such as the U.S. are making hefty investments to integrate mixed reality in gaming technology to provide an immersive gaming experience. Brand name theme parks are also investing to design and develop mixed reality in gaming technology-based theme parks.


Although the initial technology was focused on gaming and entertainment, mixed reality has found applications across a diverse range of industries, including education and training. Companies are incorporating AR and MR technologies to provide training without the need for training equipment. The major factors driving the growth of the market is the growing demand for high-end consumer electronics market, and the introduction of low-cost devices and the increasing purchasing power in developing countries.


However, the high setup costs and the unavailability of batter backups might hinder market growth. The market is also poised with several challenges to the adoption of mixed reality as the next future disruption.


The growth of military augmented reality market is heavily driven by the significant increase in demand for situational awareness technologies among the defense forces across the globe and the need for hands-free navigation capabilities. The augmented reality systems have numerous advantages in the battlefield, providing the wearer with vital information related to their surroundings, locating positions, and identifying friend or foe among others, thus saving lives. Attributing to these advantages, the defense forces in the developed countries are investing substantial amounts in procurement of augmented reality along with development of advanced technology in the field.


Moreover, the developing countries such as Mexico, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Brazil among others are also financing considerable amounts in procurement of advanced technologies including augmented reality systems for combat operations. The U.S Department of Defense is heavily investing in augmented reality systems in order to equip the armed forces with an opportunity to navigate without any hand-held GPS locator, allowing the soldier to look in one direction while simultaneously viewing the weapons point of view.


The Advanced Information Technology of Naval Research Laboratory in collaboration with Columbia University is developing Battlefield Augmented Reality Systems (BARS) for armed forces during combat operation. The key aim of BARS is to provide the armed forces in battleground with enhanced situational awareness and managing assets.


In 2017, North America led the market for military augmented reality, capturing almost 70% of the entire military augmented reality. The major factor boosting the market for augmented reality in North America is the significant investments from the United States Department of Defense in innovation, development and manufacturing of robust technologies for its armed forces and international allies. The investments from the US is fueling the market for military augmented reality in North America region.


Moreover, Canada and Mexico on the other hand exhibits fair procurement strategies of various defense products, leading the region to grow over the years. The technological giants and emerging companies in the United States such as Google, Honeywell International Inc., Applied Research Associates Inc., Six15 Technologies, and Osterhout Design Group, among others are investing substantial time and amounts for developing battlefield augmented reality in order to provide the soldiers with enhanced situational awareness and an opportunity to maneuver without carrying any hand-held GPS locator or night vision goggles.


The United States Department of Defense works closely with these companies in order to design and manufacture products and technologies as per the requirements of the army, to strengthen the armed forces operating in a battlefield. Attributing to the above mentioned factors, North American region is anticipated to exhibit prime growth rate over the forecast period from 2018 to 2025.


The market for military augmented reality consists of well-established companies as well as emerging companies namely; Alphabet, Amazon
Facebook, HP, HTC, Microsoft, Nvidia, BAE Systems (United Kingdom), Google LLC (United States), Applied Research Association Inc. (United States), Osterhout Design Group (United States) and Six15 Technologies (United States), Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, Ubisoft,
Unity, Virtuix, Walt Disney Airbus Group, BAE Systems, Boeing, CAE, Elbit Systems, General Dynamics, Kratos, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin
Novatech, Raytheon Technologies and SimCentric


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