Norwegian army uses Oculus Rift headset to drive tanks
The Norwegian army has put virtual-reality Oculus Rift headset to a novel use – helping soldiers to drive tanks.
By mounting cameras on the outside of the tank, Norwegian soldiers were able to create a 360-degree feed to the Oculus headset, worn by the driver.
The device – still just a prototype – is much cheaper than conventional military camera systems.
But the picture quality is not yet good enough for operational use.
The army began testing the headset in 2013 and in April of this year tried out the latest iteration of the hardware.
The virtual-reality headset hit the headlines when Facebook bought the company behind it – Oculus VR – for $2 billion in March.
To date neither has said much about what they plan to do together, but this week Oculus VR chief executive Brendan Iribe talked about hopes “to build a one billion player MMO”.
Massively multi-player online games (MMO) using virtual reality (VR) would be the “holy grail” for the technology, he told delegates at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.
Facebook’s large audience would help make such a platform possible although such an enormous player base would require a much larger network than existed currently, he said.
And while Oculus is starting off with a big focus in gaming he said that a lot of where VR would go in the next decade would be about “face-to-face communication and social”.
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