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Militarisation of the Metaverse

The military, alongside the space industry, has always been at the forefront of technological advancement. This is predominantly down to the billions that gets spent every year on research and development. Over the years, this military spending has given us several well-known commercial products, such as Duct tape, Super Glue, and Silly Putty, but also the Global Positioning System (GPS), the internet, and virtual reality (VR).

The military’s use of Metaverse technologies like VR and augmented reality (AR) has, to date, been for flight simulators to train pilots, and Head Up Display, or HUD, technology, that projects flight information onto the pilot’s line of sight as they look out of the aircraft. But in the future, the Metaverse, and Metaverse technologies, will provide new opportunities for military organisations.

It’s not difficult to see why the military is interested in the Metaverse. Training is the foundation for success in combat and the Metaverse will provide the perfect environment in which to train military personnel. Training scenarios and joint training exercises, that look and feel like the real thing, will help to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel, without putting them in harm’s way. Through Metaverse technologies, trainees will be able to enter scenarios that would be impossible to re-create in the real world and, without the need for physical infrastructure, this could help to reduce the cost of training.

There are several companies already offering VR and AR training to military organisations. American company Red6 is using AR technology to train pilots in refuelling maneuverers with the virtual tankers. While, Australian company Virtureal specialize in “the development of Translocative and Fully-Immersive Virtual Reality simulations, for tactical and weapons training within defence and first responder organisations.” Using the latest haptic technology, such as the Teslasuit’s full-body haptic feedback system, companies like Virtureal are recreating everything from “the brutal impact of a bullet to the body, to the delicate and complex sensation of standing in a downpour.”

Here at themetabite we’ll be keeping an eye on military applications of Metaverse technologies as a indication of future commercial products. What do you think the world’s militaries research and development departments will come up with next? Please leave a comment below!

Filip Andrejevic/Unsplash

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