(ORDO NEWS) — US Army Working Dogs are taking AR to the next level thanks to the service’s investment in a company developing AR glasses for dogs.
They allow military dog handlers to pinpoint points of interest in the dog’s field of view without exposing the owner (or the dog’s companion) to enemy fire.
According to an Army press release, this “could fundamentally change how military dogs are used in the future.”
The technology was developed by a small company Command Sight, whose goal is to create augmented reality glasses for military service dogs.
Such devices allow dog handlers to give directions to dogs in their field of vision, such as the location of a possible cache of explosives or enemy troops. In turn, the dog handler can see everything that the dog sees through a camera installed in the dog’s goggles.
Previously, army trainers had to use their hands or lasers to guide dogs to places of interest. This, however, could expose them to enemy fire themselves.
Other systems such as walkie-talkies can be confusing. Augmented reality allows the handler to digitally highlight objects to capture the dog’s attention, eliminating a source of confusion.
Military working dogs are used for a variety of purposes, from base guarding to bomb detection and even chasing enemy vehicles in the field. In 2011, a US Navy special forces dog named Cairo was involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The system used to work with dogs in 2020 was called Rex Specs. It then used wires, but the developers stated that the final working version would be wireless. The study was funded by the Army Research Bureau, part of the Army Research Laboratory.
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