The US military is working on new ways for soldiers and their dogs to communicate.
Augmented reality goggles can allow a dog’s handler to give it specific directional commands. Military dogs often scout areas for explosives and assist in rescue operations, but giving dogs the necessary commands to perform these missions can put soldiers in harm’s way. The glasses may change that.
According to the details presented, the goggles will enable soldiers to give orders to the animal at a distance. Typically, the soldiers give orders to their dogs in their mission through hand signals and laser pointers. Stephen Lee, a senior scientist at the Army Research Office (ARO), explained that Augmented Reality works differently for dogs than for humans.
AR will be used to provide dogs with commands and cues; it is not for the dog to interact with it as a human does. This new technology offers us a critical tool to better communicate with military working dogs.” The dogs are trained to follow the visual indicators displayed by the goggles, allowing them to be directed to a specific location.
The technology was developed under a project funded by the Small Business Innovation Research program, managed by the US Army Research Office. The device was manufactured by the Command Sight, Inc to keep the warfighter remote, and bridge soldier’s and working canine’s communication on operation sites.
A.J Peper (the founder and CEO of the company) said that the project was still in its beginning research stages, but that early results were “extremely promising.” The company has been given extra funding to make a wireless version that should be a lot more practical than the current wired version.