Holograms take center stage | SIGNAL Magazine
Holograms coupled with advanced communications networks assist the Navy, Marine Corps, and Special Forces in their logistical and operational efforts. Some service organizations rely on large format holographic projection capabilities that display volumetric images. In desktop applications, features enable groups of people to collaborate around complex visual data, and smaller, more mobile groups or single users at the tactical edge to quickly see information on portable devices. Most 3D-ready content can be applied to solutions, such as augmented reality and virtual reality formats, and used for simulated and in-situ training exercises with gesture and touch interaction capabilities. Solutions from IKIN Inc., called IKIN ARC, and its partners enable users to leverage legacy mobile, 4G and 5G networks.
Plus, 3D holographic technologies work in ambient light, eliminating the need for special glasses or headsets.
“Because we can create an ambient light holographic image without any headgear, there are obviously some advantages to that in a military setting where you don’t want to be isolated from your surroundings,” explained the IKIN CEO. , Joe Ward, in an interview with SIGNAL Media. “Having the ability to take advantage of that and not be compromised in any way by a limited field of view is important.”
One of IKIN’s business partners, Front Line Advisory Group, a company created by several retired special ops soldiers, is dedicated to applying the IKIN hologram and other technologies to the operations communities Fort specials. Bragg, North Carolina and other commands. IKIN has also developed an open source software development toolkit integrated with Unity Technologies and other development platforms and has partnered with Federated Wireless and Vectrus Corp. to marry holographic technologies with advanced communications.
Front Line believes it’s best not to offer defined use cases because soldiers can see clear ways to apply holographic technologies to operations, said Chad Lawson, Front Line’s director of operations. So far, they have seen how hologram solutions can help these tactical force planning and other combat processes.
“Typically, we had to build, either by 3D printing or a scale model of certain locations or certain goals that we would like to address, which is very time consuming,” Lawson clarified. “Or you could use augmented reality or virtual reality, but that would require the use of googles. That’s where situational awareness [problem] Once you put scopes inside an ops center, it’s not that important, even if no one really likes doing it or is comfortable with it. But if you’re trying to do some quick planning in the field on a very short notice, using AR or VR goggles takes you completely away from what’s happening in the field and completely disables your situational awareness. You almost become a handicap to force on the ground.
This allows forces to plan faster and more efficiently, Ward said, as the capabilities provide users with the ability to manipulate detail in the hologram’s digital images through virtual touch control. “One of the biggest differentiators for us is providing that ‘Z’ access, that depth,” he said. To create an image, the platform pulls various data sources (photographs, maps, videos, etc.) and leverages artificial intelligence to create detailed holographic displays.
“Whether it’s a vehicle or looking at what’s behind a building or moving things around in this digital environment and being able to change it very quickly and do some planning, it’s is quite effective,” Ward said.
For the Navy and Marine Corps, IKIN and Vectrus prepare advanced warehouse and logistics solutions. Under another transactional authority with a Marine Corps facility in Albany, Georgia, Federated Wireless invited companies to participate in a secure deployment of 5G mobile technology. In another application, the Navy is leveraging solutions for a logistics modernization effort in San Diego.
“We’re very excited about 5G,” Ward said. “The logistics and warehousing solution uses our technology to not only locate inventory, navigate rows, aisles, and access the inventory room, and then be able to see inside the box and show in a hologram. All of this uses millimeter waves over a 5G network. The implications of 5G, it really speeds up usage and what we can do with artificial intelligence and data flow.
Companies are leveraging 5G communications, artificial intelligence, and holographic applications to improve warehouse and facility operations. A 5G component, antenna, modem and computing power are all integrated into a small board for holographic solutions. “The user has the option to configure it as a CAC [common access card] card, a credit card, a debit card, and that’s pretty much state-of-the-art as we build this 5G logistics environment,” said Mike Wells, chief innovation officer at Vectrus.
For the Navy effort, holographic technologies provide detailed 3D imagery, perfect for logistics, he continued.
“The whole genesis of this effort is, ‘How do you build a next-gen logistics facility on 5G?'” Wells shared. “You can actually walk around the facility and see the components in 3D with the hologram without ever having to physically open the inventory. The notion of “what might next-generation logistics modernization look like?” is where you have the ability to view every aspect of an item without ever having to take it out of the box.