In addition to simply being man’s best friend, dogs have also shown to be wonderful partners for law enforcement and military professionals.
However, one of the biggest challenges with this working relationship has been the ability to communicate with the dog via physical or voice commands in hostile environments.
Enter A.J. Peper, the founder of Command Sight. As initially detailed on BusinessInsider.com, Peper found a way to customize Microsoft’s HoloLens technology in producing an augmented reality communication tool for dogs.
Peper started with a pair of protective Rex Specs typically used by working military dogs, but added the HoloLens heads-up display. This display places visual cues, like a laser pointer, on a digital overlay of the actual environment to help direct and guide the canine.
This type of set-up allows for clearer, real-time direction that could even be done remotely.
Using a mounted display or laptop, the handler could see the dog's environment and click on places or objects on the digital overly in either getting the dog’s attention or showing the dog the proper path to take.
This approach could ensure greater safety for both the two and four-legged soldiers as they navigate harsh conditions. The Army is supporting the project through the Army Research Office and its Small Business Innovation Research program.
While putting AR glasses on a dog sounds like a cool idea, the real question is whether or not it could work. Peper began testing these ‘doggles’ on his own dog Mater. It took about a week for Mater to get used to the new specs, but was able to follow basic commands via a virtual laser pointer in less than a month.
Next steps for the Command Sight project are miniaturizing the system, making it more rugged, and equipping it with wireless communication capabilities.