OPINION | Modern Warfare : "Google Glass" Technology For Real-Time Combat

OPINION | Modern Warfare : "Google Glass" Technology For Real-Time Combat

By Israeli Defense Forces Blog

OPINION | Modern Warfare : "Google Glass" Technology For Real-Time Combat

Imagine being in the heat of battle, you are exhausted, fatigued and running on adrenaline. A few seconds before a terrorist opens fire, you are told over the radio to take cover and prepare. This is the development of military-like “Google Glasses”, which will provide real-time information from combat soldiers in battle to their commanders.

The IDF continues to ambitiously develop and harness technology of the twenty first century with the goal of preventing harm to combat soldiers. The IDF’s Development Branch, which is in charge of the development of forthcoming technology in the military, has been at the forefront of technology like the IDF’s “Google Glass” and the use of applications. Recently, this branch has been inspired from previous operations to advance technology that provides real-time information on the battlefield in order to prevent harm to the soldiers.

Google Glass Application by Track-Point / YouTube Video Grab

“After Operation Protective Edge, there became a greater understanding that mobility is a significant factor in combat,” said Capt. Rotem, Head of Development Branch. “One of the things we’re working on is a change in the perception of mobility within the development branch of the IDF. In the coming year we will learn how to develop and utilize Android apps, and enter the realm of multi-faceted technology”.

One of the most dynamic projects, IDF communications branch is developing a “Google Glass” for combat soldiers to wear. Soldiers will be able to provide real time information that will connect to command and control screens, where people manning the stand will able to assess a soldier’s situation on the battlefield. “Of course the goal is not to confuse, but to add information that can help fighters make correct decisions – to prevent firing at our forces for example,” said Capt. Rotem.

The “Google Glass” is being transformed into military technology that will eventually take a step further and be re-purposed for many other vital uses such as transport, navigation and identification. These concepts will be introduced through the development of applications, that will connect commanders in the field with the general staff.

“We have completed our first application that works on a mobile platform – mobile logistics transportation,” explained Capt. Rotem. “It displays a map on the screen, displaying the route they are taking to deliver logistics, trucks with weapons, etc. This enables the commanders to gather updates on the delivery during the fighting, when it will reach the area – and be able to control the means of transport.”

Applications developed, such as the logistics application, will form the basis for many others to be developed for use by the end of 2015. There is a wide range of ideas, both in combat and operational support; applications that can help fighters navigate the battlefield and identify goals, possibly identify and confirm dead soldiers under a biometric element.

The realization of greater mobility and real time interaction between combat soldiers and commanders has become the recent objective through development of technology. The progression of “Google Glass” like technology is the first step to bringing combat and operational units together, while also preventing harm to soldiers on the battlefield with last minute absolute decision making.

This article was first published at IDF Blog on March 4, 2015
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