Oculus Rift pioneers the future of tank warfare


The Norwegian Army is currently testing the use of the Oculus Rift VR goggles in tanks, and the results so far are encouraging.

Without the aid of virtual technology, a tank operator’s field of view is surprisingly limited, even in the most modern tanks. Using Oculus Rift’s technology; however, a driver’s range of view is significantly expanded. With cameras strategically placed around the tank’s exterior, a driver wearing VR goggles and sitting inside the hatch has only to turn his or her head to see through the entire body of the vehicle.

What the view from the inside of a tank looks like in the Battlefield video game series

What the view from the inside of a tank looks like in the widely popular Battlefield video game series

What you're really working with inside an M1A2 Abrams tank

What you’re really working with inside of a tank, in this case the M1A2 Abrams

The prototype itself costs around $2,000, a far less expensive alternative compared to current tank viewing systems that can cost upwards of $100,000.

Although the proposed cost of the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift VR system would certainly entice most modern militaries to adopt this technology, one serious flaw to the new VR setup is eye strain, with studies showing that prolonged use of Oculus Rift while driving any vehicle can cause considerable eye fatigue. If this technology were to be incorporated today, then the VR goggles would have to be periodically set aside during combat.

You can see the whole rig in action (video with English subtitles) HERE

Using similar technology, the US military is testing and developing active camouflage cloaking devices for tanks and other armored vehicles. The results so far are quite impressive. A nearly invisible tank on the outside, combined with the ability of the driver to see through the tank as though it’s not there, makes for a formidable tool of destruction.

BAE System's 'ADAPTIV' cloak not only lets tanks blend into the environment, but also appear as a simple automobile

BAE System’s ‘ADAPTIV’ cloak not only lets tanks and APC’s blend into the environment, but also appear to take the shape of something else

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A self-taught writer with some college (a nice way of saying that he didn't graduate), Nate fell in love with pocket billiards in his mid teens, and has spent more than half of his life as a student of the sport. Yes, it's a sport. He will argue incessantly if someone claims otherwise. He also loves video games, his favorite game being Dark Souls, followed by Dark Souls as a close second, and The Last of Us being his fourth favorite game (Dark Souls is his third favorite game). He has a tendency to ramble on when you strike up a conversation with him, so asking him for a short bio is a dangerously boring proposition and not recommended. Otherwise he tends to keep to himself. He is also an editor and founding member of Tech Gen Mag, living in southern California.

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