ECBC’s Augmented Reality Demo a Real Hit at AUSA 2016
CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | October 7th, 2016
An AUSA Conference attendee at AMC's booth experiences an ECBC augmented reality training demonstration with 3-D printed parts designed to demonstrate potential applications of emerging technology to training, maintenance and logistics.
Every year thousands of Soldiers, Army civilians, defense contractors, and foreign military visitors converge at the Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. to see the latest in defense technology at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition. This year, the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) brought a 'wow factor' with them with -- their display of augmented reality.
“This technology is highly useful in any situation in which people need to learn how to use an unfamiliar technology, particularly if we can use symbol and image recognition to cross the language barrier for specialty equipment,” said Sabrina Rawlings Seiple, an ECBC chemical engineer. “We also see a role for it in our STEM Outreach program. Army scientists and engineers can use it to excite and engage students while teaching them sophisticated lessons about technology and leadership.”
ECBC’s augmented reality exhibit excited and engaged the conference attendees, too. A steady stream of visitors, from generals to people staffing nearby booths, could be seen wearing the glasses and extended their hand in the direction of the superimposed images. “We were happy to see how excited people got about this technology,” said Rawlings Seiple. “While we’re focused on solving chemical biological defense challenges, there was no end to the applications the people we met could see for it in their different fields.”
“The training applications for augmented reality are nearly limitless because you can translate any training sequence into interactive step-by-step guides and virtual symbology.” said Lail. “We have been working with our training team to find applications for it in everything from how to operate complex analytical equipment to how to take field samples, to how to adhere to our rigorous safety procedures.”
Rawlings Seiple and Lail believe that ultimately, the technology will be miniaturized to the point where it can be placed inside existing equipment and become ubiquitous in the lives of Soldiers as a training and reference tool. “You can take any piece of equipment, no matter how large or complex, view it as if it were physically in front of you. Including technical information within virtual models can enable advanced maintenance, training and logistics support.”
“The theme of the conference was ‘Ready Today; Preparing for the Future’,” said Rawlings Seiple. “ECBC can make enormous contributions to that goal using emerging technology in manufacturing and visualization, like augmented reality.”