According to VentureBeat, the ‘BATMAN,’ or Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided (K)nowledge, research team of the US Air Force are beta testing Google Glass for possible use on combat missions.
The team at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is said to be looking at the wearable device in terms of its functionality, and so far, it likes what it sees.
Anthony Eastin, a BATMAN behavioral scientist testing the Glass, told VB the product could assist soldiers because of “its low power, its low footprint, it sits totally above the eyes, and doesn’t block images or hinder vision”. Possible scenarios for the disruptive technology use by the Air Force include target locating, help in aircraft to ground communication, and assist in search and rescue missions.
However, while there has been a great deal of attention for Google Glass, it remains to be seen if the Air Force will embrace the technology. Andres Calvo, a software developer and civilian contractor with the Air Force told VB that “one of the facets of the Google Glass platform the team liked was the capability to “access information very quickly”. But so far, the 49-gram Google Glass eyewear is “not a silver bullet for many of the Air Force’s needs,” Calvo said.
The testing comes as the U.S. military attempts to move beyond using battlefield laptops and rely more on new wearable computers, which could emerge as more important tools in terms of their maneuverability in confined spaces and on the battlefield.
As news of the Air Force testing Glass made its rounds on Tuesday, Himax Technologies (HIMX) shares increased more than 5 percent to a hod of $11.44. The company is a supplier of components for Glass.
Google (GOOGL) shares rose as much as 17 percent, to $557.51 in New York yesterday. The ticker is up $1.49, or 0.27%, at $559.00 in pre-market trading Wednesday.