The American military could be about to get new head gear that will give them a serious advantage out in the field. Q-Warrior is a high-tech device worn on the head and has been built by the UK-based company BAE Systems.
The Google Glass-like equipment can measure distances, display 3D building layouts and transmit video from a drone, all on a display that sits right in front of the eye. This could prove to be a vital piece of equipment, as battlefields are full of data that are crucial to a soldier’s survival. Up until now there has been no way for transmitting data like the location of fellow soldiers or maps of a city, but that type of information can be streamed live to soldiers by means of Q-Warrior.
There have been no confirmed reports that BAE Systems and the US military have agreed to test run the Q-Warrior headgear but both have said that it is only a matter of time before soldiers will be wearing the new device in battle.
“It’s not 10 years out from now, it’s been available for a while,” said Donald Lee, a project lead in the Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. “It’s just how do you do it?”
The concern is not how to actually make it but rather how to ensure that the data stream is not broken or more importantly how to prevent someone from hacking the helmets and stealing footage and information.
And “then you’ve got the issue of distraction,” said Paul Wright, the business development lead for soldier systems at BAE Systems. “Whether the data is a distraction from the main task that a person is carrying out.”
Wright and Lee both explain how it is essential to learn what and how much information should be transmitted to the soldiers, as bombarding them with too much data could actually prove a hindrance rather than a help.
However, it is likely that these concerns and issues will soon be resolved, especially because soldiers are crying out for such a headgear system. There is no time frame for rolling out this equipment but Wright explains that initially it will probably be used by special forces before being rolled out to all military teams.
[Image via BAE Systems]