Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Video Games inform the Battlefield

I love shoot-em-ups, especially the ones where you have lots of armor and can really vent your frustrations without worrying too much about the enemies. But have you ever stopped to look at all the information your virtual warrior has at his disposal? Ammo remaining, armor remaining, life remaining. Wouldn't it be great if our soldiers on a real battlefield had access to that kind of life-saving data? The army is working on a way to make it happen!

"As a kid, everyone played those video games that showed you how much armor you had left as a percentage bar," said John Wray, a TARDEC contractor. "That's exactly what we're working on here and more."

Intelligent armor is based on piezoelectrics, or materials that generate a small voltage when bent. The reverse is also true: Apply a small voltage, and a piezoelectric material will bend...By measuring just how much energy is lost, the TARDEC scientists can determine how damaged the armor is.
And, of course, if you add this to a wireless ad hoc network that is linked back to the commander, he can see which areas of the battlefield are in the most trouble, and send help. It may be another way to multiply the effectiveness of our soldiers, and save lives.

1 comment:

Ward said...

The really ironic part to this is that the FPS and action/adventure styles are moving away from such a large HUD display and increasingly moving to you seeing only the action on the screen because it is more "life-like." Uncharted 2 was a recent example of this being done very well. Nowadays, you have to push a button to see your items, including ammo, and you likewise have a button to bring up a realistic looking map that is then folded away before you begin to move again.