With Google’s recently announced Glass At Work initiative, more news has surfaced about the device’s useful application in the healthcare and energy sectors. Google also showcased a shot of Washington Capitals’ player Nicklas Backstrom from the perspective of a fan wearing Glass. But little has been shown in the way of the device’s useful application in government sectors.
The Air Force’s 711th Human Performance Wing has begun testing Google Glass for pararescue operations, among other battlefield scenarios. We’ve made mention of our belief that Glass could see wider adoption rates in settings where the benefits gained from practical applications of the device will outweigh any fashion concern or social stigma. Clearly, battlefield scenarios fall into that category. In the military, situational context is massively important, especially in high risk situations. Allowing servicemen and women to know time sensitive information in a heads up display removes the need to open a laptop and take ones eyes away from perhaps more pertinent views. It also allows for hands free viewing and communication. Lastly, wearable tech has been in use by military personnel for quite some time, such as wearable solar powered panels to charge equipment:
Photo: Information Week. Marines using solar powered backpacks.
The Air Force has, in an awesome move, dubbed the testing project, Battlefield Air Targeting, Man-Aided Knowledge, or BATMAN for short. The program is testing other wearable devices, with the goal of connecting pararescue jumpers with joint tactical air controllers. BATMAN is developing a medical app for Google Glass to monitor vitals of injured individuals during rescue missions. The app would allow pararescue jumpers to see vitals through their lenses and assess the order of need among casualties. The Air Force will continue to test the technology, and accompanying laptops and tablets.