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August 16, 2016 2:05 pm

Israeli Military to Train Soldiers With Augmented Reality Technologies

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The IDF could soon be using augmented reality technologies to train its soldiers. Photo: IDF

The IDF could soon be using augmented reality technologies to train its soldiers. Photo: IDF.

The Israeli military could soon be using augmented reality technologies to train its soldiers, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

According to the report, the IDF’s C2 Systems Department recently purchased two HoloLens glasses from Microsoft. Major Rotem Bashi, the commander of the head programming department, said the plan is to use the HoloLens on active duty within several months.

“We connect all kinds of technologies and innovative concepts that come from the civilian world and try to adapt them as quickly as possible to military use,” Bashi said of the $3,000 developer goggles.

According to Bloomberg, Bashi and his team  — working from an IDF base outside of Tel Aviv — have developed a software program that lets commanders observe troop positioning from enemy vantage points. The team is also developing ways to enable medics in the field to use HoloLens glasses to treat wounded soldiers while receiving guidance from trained surgeons. Another envisioned use is for soldiers trying to fix equipment in the field.

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Additionally, the glasses could be used to monitor the psychological state of soldiers in real time.

“The bottom line is that the world is going in this direction,” Bashi said. “We want to understand how to develop for this kind of device and figure out how it can impact us as a military.”

Bashi said he has been providing feedback to Microsoft about the HoloLens glasses. Microsoft declined to comment on military use of the glasses, saying in a statement, “Since we started shipping Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition in March of this year, we’ve seen an incredible response from developers and stunning innovation in a variety of use cases ranging from airlines training their mechanics and flight crews, to medical students learning anatomy in a new way, to astronauts exploring Mars.”

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