Lewis Levine, Senior Correspondent.
The soldiers on Fort Stewart will soon be using augmented reality to improve their efficiency in doing certain maintenance tasks on post.
Lt. Col. Michael Hefti, with the Third ID, said augmented reality will help the soldiers work on the complex and highly technical machines and equipment used in the Army.
“Augmented reality allows you to see the real piece of equipment you are working on, and it overlays on top of it an image that helps you fix those things faster,” he said.
He said Fort Stewart is becoming the most modernized division in the Army, and augmented reality will help them work more efficiently and also reduce costs by purchasing the correct parts needed for a particular piece of equipment.
“It will allow a mechanic to put on a headset display and look at the piece of equipment and guide them through how to repair that piece of equipment,” he said. “It is going to improve training efficiency. … It is going to make them subject-matter experts quicker. … Similar to how you would have had to fix a sink in the old days, where you would have to go to a book and you see the six pictures, and then we went to YouTube, where you can watch how it is fixed — this takes it the next step further.”
He said it would reduce costs because the augmented reality will recognize the correct part that needs to be ordered if it requires replacement.
Capt. Benjamin Mc-Farlan, the deputy innovations officer of the Third ID, went through a demonstration of the application and called it incredible.
“I really see how there are going to be numerous applications of augmented reality that are going to significantly benefit our force,” he said. “When you think about expeditionary maintenance or medical operations, augmented reality can significantly benefit both of those.” He said it was realistic and did not disorient him in any way, adding that it was like having a technician trainer with you every step of the way.
“I thought it was very neat, very helpful and definitely very informative,” he said.
Hefti said they were testing the application and are working with personnel to set a possible implementation date for Fort Stewart.