US military is building its own metaverse and it's a far cry from Mark Zuckerberg's 'virtual utopia' dreams

THE US military has been developing its own metaverse programs to help bolster defense training.

Nearly every sector in the field of technology – from gaming to social media, to software giants – has announced that they are building their own metaverse.

The term 'metaverse' describes a digital world that combines gaming, social media, augmented reality, and cryptocurrency for an integrated user experience.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been credited with popularizing the concept as he has long been vocal about his plans for the platform.

Now, it seems the defense industry wants in on the virtual action to help train fighter pilots, and other roles in the services.

This makes sense, considering that the key components comprising a metaverse – AR simulation and VR headsets – already exist in the defense world, as Wired reports.

But now thanks to Red 6, the company that’s developing the metaverse technology for the United States military, the defense sector can take their training even further.

"A mix of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and video game graphics, for instance, have enabled fighter pilots to practice dogfighting against virtual opponents, including Chinese and Russian warplanes, while pulling several Gs," Will Knight writes for Wired.

“We can fly against whatever threat we want,” Daniel Robinson, founder, and CEO of Red 6 said.

“And that threat could be controlled either by an individual remotely or by artificial intelligence.”

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The company’s AR technology has combined Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) training with a program called Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS) to work in more extreme conditions.

"Red 6 brings the Virtual and Constructive assets into the real world by allowing pilots and ground operators to see synthetic threats in real-time, outdoors and, critically, in high-speed environments," the company's website said.

By blending AR and AI and using both the indoor and outdoor spaces, the company says that it has redefined the limits of how the world will experience, share, and interact with information.

“What we’re building is really a military metaverse,” Robinson says. “It’s like a multiplayer video game in the sky.”

And this isn't the only example of metaverse technology being employed for defense.

A new high-tech helmet for the F-35 fighter jet includes an AR display that shares telemetry data and target information, per Wired.

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The US Army also announced in 2018 that it would team up with Microsoft to create a version of its HoloLens AR system for soldiers.

"This is not just a technological revolution, this is a social, human, and business revolution," Robinson said.

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