U.S. Air Force
The US Air Force awarded CMC several contracts to develop an Augmented Reality (AR) demonstrator for an Optimized Information Display for Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP). The TACPs currently use a “heads down” Android application that keeps their eyes and head focused down. This led to significant muscle fatigue, resulting from supporting a helmet and night vision goggles, and severe reduction in situational awareness. CMC developed, in conjunction with Dr. Mica Endsley, a customized information display philosophy and AR display system to meet the TACP’s requirements.
For the hardware, CMC developed an ultrabright, 45° field of view, high contrast display that integrated directly with the TACP’s helmet, and with or without the night vision gear. There were no off the shelf displays, nor any custom solutions other than CMC’s that met the TACP’s requirements for size, brightness, and contrast. The software consisted of over a year of interviews, custom user interface development and design, and testing. A result was one senior TACP exclaiming, “I have waited for this system for 10 years! This would have made my job much easier and saved lives.” CMC is continuing to mature the technology into a long term program.
U.S. Marines Force-on-Force Training
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded CMC a multi-year effort to develop an ultra-wide field of view (FOV) of 180° Augmented Reality (AR) display that was sunlight readable without using sunshades. CMC was chosen over competitors due to the performance of our displays in outdoor environments. Our unmatched FOV combined with not needing sunshades enables several advantages to the warfighter: 1. Their natural vision is preserved for high dynamic range scenes, i.e., bright city scenes with dark alleys. 2. The FOV enables their peripheral vision to be engaged for training. 3. The displays integrate with minimal conflicts to current kit and procedures leading to more natural training and no extra equipment necessary.
CMC was chosen over several incumbents and existing equipment to develop a wide field of display (110°) using our imageguide displays that would integrate with advanced augmented vision systems. The system was extremely compact to fit within very tight space limitations, while also operating in bright sunlight. In addition, CMC developed and delivered a compact processing system integrating the Movidius (Intel) Myriad that included the ability to process 7 simultaneous video feeds, perform image processing, accelerated AI algorithms, and general Augmented Reality information handling and rendering. Finally, CMC created the AR human factors interface, including the display philosophy, menu system, human interface devices, and headtracking.
NASA Adaptive User Interface
NASA challenged CMC with a contract award to develop custom space Augmented Reality (AR) hardware and an Adaptive User Interface to accompany astronauts for a long duration Mars mission. The system needed to interface to a NASA designed Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that would assist the astronauts with their day-to-day activities and adapt the user interface to events around them, such as responding to a major injury during the mission. CMC developed an extensive software framework that considered not only a flexible methodology 3rd parties could use to develop AR display interfaces to the astronauts, but also a general API for the future AI system to integrate into the AR display and drive it.
U.S. Army DATA Display Overlay
CMC was chosen for their advanced imageguide technology to integrate in the next generation of scopes and direct view optics due to their unrivaled performance, including blocking less light than traditional optics.
In addition to the displays, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) is interested in CMC integrating existing Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing mobile chipsets into the devices. The current solutions are extremely large and power hungry. CMC, using past designs, has a solution to reduce the board sizes by 90% and power requirements by 25x, while giving expansion space to develop future capabilities into the system.