Metaverse has become a buzzword; the term originated in the science fiction novel Snow Crash which was published in 1992. In colloquial use, the metaverse is a web of 3D virtual worlds. In the past year, companies have been working on tools that facilitate the emergence of a metaverse- be it enterprise software giants, gaming companies, social media behemoths, and now defense services as well.
The military has the capability to take adolescent technology to the next level; we witness military metaverse technology taken to training fields. The fundamental technologies essential for the metaverse- AR and VR, 3D simulations, head-mounted displays, and AI-powered virtual environments are used by the defense industry. In 2014 the Office of Naval Research and the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California developed Project BlueShark, the technology that helped sailors to interact in a virtual environment and control ships. The US Air Force utilizes VR to teach pilots how to control aircraft. Hence, the concept of military metaverse is not new.
Metaverse can be hugely beneficial for the military. Metaverse can drive new value in the defense industry. Let’s see how metaverse can be useful for the military:
Military service of every nation faces real concerns about attracting and retaining talent. Metaverse can act as a real game changer when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. It provides an exciting pathway. Metaverse can help in hyper-personalizing recruitment to get more engagement. With metaverse potential recruits can get a taste of what military life is like. In addition to that, AI helps in finding people from different demographics and communities, helping in broadening the talent pool.
Metaverse greatly helps in enhancing the work environment. Military personnel work across various systems; they might have to analyze what’s wrong with the equipment and then use another system to know what’s going on in the field. Metaverse greatly helps in combining various systems into a single, unified experience. It greatly helps in improving the working environment and retaining talent.
With VR, recruits get hands-on experience repairing aircraft and systems. They get a distinct understanding of the procedure. Simulated environments help recruits develop “muscle memory” for complex real-world situations. The great thing about metaverse for military training
is that there are zero casualties and zero damage rates. The United States employs VR in its Pilot Training Next (PTN) program. A company named Improbable has created virtual battlefields where a total of 10,000 soldiers can participate.
The emerging military systems are reliant on AI, AR technology was utilized to put an AI-controlled aircraft against a human pilot by DARPA IN October 2020. Eventually, the robot pilot gained skills to the point that it could always defeat the human pilot. Seeing great opportunities provided by Metaverse, countries around the world have been researching the possibilities of Metaverse in defense.
AR glasses integrated with soldiers’ helmets are widely used when it comes to controlling mechanics and aiding soldiers when they are handling any new task. Metaverse in military tools don’t block the real-world view, instead, they help in displaying digital instructions. For instance, Boeing utilizes AR technology to provide technicians with hands-free 3D wiring diagrams to follow, which improves the accuracy and speed of the task by 30%. The US army has signed a contract of $21 billion with Microsoft for HoloLens in order to improve their decision-making in multiple scenarios. The version of the Lens is tailored-made for the army to improve the performance and safety of soldiers.
On May 10th, 2022, a high-altitude proto-metaverse experiment was performed by two fighter pilots where pilots donned custom AR headsets and an image of refueling aircraft flying alongside them emerged and one of the pilots performed the refueling task with the virtual tanker.
The metaverse can help commanders command and control. It helps in assessing all probabilities, for instance, if the military is due to receive a new weapon in some time, with the help of metaverse, the defense organization can simulate the impact to leverage it to its full strength. Similarly, when the enemy gets a new weapon, the forces can understand its likely impacts with the help of the metaverse and learn to mitigate them. While planning an operation, the military can simulate tons of scenarios quickly and come out with the best course of action.
The metaverse can be utilized in high-risk situations to navigate better and integrate intelligence from multiple sources to ensure each commanding officer has personalized insights.
The focus of the military metaverse is on mission rehearsal and training. The main difference between the military metaverse and commercial metaverse is that the military metaverse aims to provide a digital twin of the real world, while commercial uses don’t require the digital twin of the entire planet. Mission rehearsals of armed forces require an accurate 3D metaverse.
Security is a huge aspect of any organization, and when it comes to the military, understandably expectations are high. In the military metaverse, the data from real-world objects like the movement of soldiers, equipment, and civilians is collected to render digital twins.
Metaverse data security is important as it is being built upon NFTs, which makes it prone to NFT fraud. Moreover, sensitive data like the user’s biometrics is the most valuable data here. Data security is crucial in the metaverse to stop data breaches and malware spread.
The military emphasizes protecting the information from cyber-attacks, the deep web, and the black market. There are always extra layers of protection to ensure sensitive data doesn’t go into the wrong hands.
Metaverse can totally change the military environment and provide better engagement, advanced training without any casualties, and equip the armed forces with better tools to interact and pass instructions digitally to soldiers on the battlefield. The AR technology in the military is already impressive; AR combined with AI help in assisting troops in finding the safest routes. In the coming time, the military metaverse might help in avoiding sending soldiers into life-threatening situations. It’s time for the military to embrace the metaverse whole heartedly. Antier has years of experience working with the armed forces and is the perfect partner to evaluate your practices to find the necessary improvement points and build the best systems.