The Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness & Visualization System is an augmented reality successor to the U.S. Army’s Landwarrior system that started out as a competition between several large corporations. The contract was won by my employer, and the resulting work was later productized as the ARC4.
As the Technical Director at Virtual Hereoes and software engineer on the UltraVis project I was primarily responsible for implementing the system’s C3D situational awareness augmented reality user interface. During phase one and two of the DARPA competition I prototyped the visualization with Unreal Engine running on a wearable PC.
The software was able to operate in two modes: in game mode it would render a virtual representation of the training environment on a laptop or desktop computer, and in augmented reality mode it would generate head-up display elements to be fed into a Google Glass like holographic display.
I also integrated ARA’s custom location and head tracking solution consisting of GPS, magnetic, inertial and feature extraction based sensors.
Data gloves with embedded RFID tags that hooked into the game engine’s input system allowed for navigating on-screen menus, communicating and issuing commands with hand gestures. These were primarily used to tag objects in the real world – so called Virtual Graffiti.
- How DARPA’s Augmented Reality Software Works
May 2014 ~ The Atlantic
- DARPA develops ULTRA-Vis augmented reality HUD system for soldiers
May 2014 ~ Tech Times
- Why DARPA’s Augmented Reality Software Is Better Than Google Glass
May 2014 ~ Defense One
- DARPA’s Ultra-VIS is heads-up augmented reality for ground troops
March 2014 ~ Geek.com
- ARA Awarded DARPA ULTRA-Vis Phase 2 Contract
Applied Research Associates
- $1m for seethrough vidspecs in DARPA VR war-graffiti plan
July 2009 ~ The Register