Mixed / Augmented Reality
BANC3 has developed Augmented / Mixed Reality solutions for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and other government customers. BANC3 has won numerous Small Business Innovation Award (SBIR) contracts for Augmented / Mixed Reality R&D efforts that include the following projects listed below:
SBIR Phase 3: Development of Integrated Fire Control System with Augmented Reality (AR) Capabilities for Integrated Mounted Machine Gun Optic (MMO) for US Army
BANC3 won a Phase III contract from Army Contracting Command, NJ (ACC-NJ) at Picatinny Arsenal that derives from and extends prior Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) work. Under this initial 2-year contract (currently in progress), BANC3 will develop AR capabilities for integrated fire control systems utilizing and building upon capabilities and experience developed through successful completion of the SBIR Phase I and II contract work, "AR/MR for Live Fire Ranges," for the US. Army Program Executive Office – Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) in Orlando, FL. This work, completed in late 2019, included the development of a standalone optical see-through head-mounted display (HMD) that displays virtual targets and simulated environmental occlusions (such as smoke, fire, and explosions) for soldier marksmanship training. BANC3's Phase III contract work will include development of a fire control system for the Mounted Machine Gun Optic (MMO) that integrates with the High Explosive Dual-Purpose Airburst (HEDP-AB) ammunition programming unit (PU) using BANC3's AR capabilities developed in Phases 1 & 2.
AR/MR for Live Fire Ranges Program
BANC3, under a Phase II SBIR for PEO-STRI from May 2017 until November 2019, designed an AR/MR system for basic marksmanship training on live fire ranges. The soldier wears a standalone optical–see–through HMD that displays 3D virtual targets downrange in both eyes superimposed over the real-world view. When the soldier raises the rifle to aim, the HMD detects and tracks the rifle and occludes the AR/MR targets. The virtual targets are displayed in the eyepieces matching the correct aspect ratio, size, position, orientation, stability, illumination, and shading to give the illusion that the object is placed on the ground in a fixed location. The HMD is a fully contained standalone computer system, including the latest mobile processor, displays, battery, and an array of sensors. All positioning, SLAM, and rendering are performed on the headset without the need for a wired or wireless tether. BANC3 was awarded and successfully completed the Phase II SBIR follow-on for this AR/MR for Live Fire Ranges program.
Augmented Reality Headset for Maintainers (SBIR for Navy)
BANC3 is developing a complete ruggedized, marinized, secure, self-contained AR headset that features Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), 3D object recognition, and Augmented Reality overlays that provide maintainers with instant access a wealth of valuable resources hands-free to help them with their work. The smartglasses provide storage for the user to download sets of manuals and helpful augmented reality guidance material to use in areas with limited or no internet connectivity. For areas with limited or no internet connectivity, maintainers can download documentation and resources to the glasses and for areas with secure DoD networks, the smart glasses will have all the needed security & software architecture to securely connect through these networks.
Helmet Augmented Display for Extended-Reality Systems (HADES) Air Force Direct to Phase 2 SBIR
BANC3 is developing a new headset based on our latest AR glasses, integrating Optitrak support, UWB tracking, and a wearable compute pack such as the S20 based ATAK. By combining these technologies, we can create a best-in-class training headset that works repeatably over large areas and in various lighting and environmental conditions. We will then incorporate the tracking methods described above into our Unity API and deliver an open platform demo of an AR training facility. The headset will be similar to those we sell today—that is part of the point—to ensure the headset is commercially marketable at the end of Phase II. BANC3 will modify the headsets to integrate with our Wilcox's weapon gesture HMD controller, the Optitrak tracking system, and our UWB tracking system. We will further enhance the displays for maximum brightness, improve run time on battery past what we usually do for commercial customers, and ruggedize the headset to 810.H. This ruggedization will allow them to survive the drops, shocks, immersion, and environmental hazards they will experience during their service life as a training tool. For this program, we will take our best AR displays that are just coming onto the market and combine them with our SLAM 6DoF tracking sensors in the lightest package possible. Then we will work with Wilcox to integrate them with their soldier-borne wearable compute pack.
Autonomous and Intelligent Aircraft Maintenance Technologies (SBIR for Navy)
BANC3's work on this contract focused on enhancing the capabilities of aircraft maintainers, by providing more natural, intuitive, and hand-free instruction. We adapted our X2 Mixed Reality Smart glasses to provide a key part of this solution and are also further strengthening the physical design characteristics & security to meet rigorous DoD requirements. Our solution will enhance the capabilities of current aircraft maintenance personnel and provide accelerated & flexible remote training for new personnel. Aircraft maintenance tasks this will support include cleaning, coating removal, non-destructive inspection, and corrosion assessment. For trainees, we are developing 3D virtual training material using marker less SLAM capability.
Multimodal Interaction Technologies to Support Small Unit Leaders
(AR User Interface for Intuitive Multimodal Drone control – SBIR for Navy)
BANC3 is developing a demonstration system that automatically switches control of a COTS unmanned drone from a tablet to a headset HUD with dynamic switching between eye tracking control, speech and gesture control. BANC3's work will include the implementation of a three-part control system for an unmanned drone. We will concentrate on the use case where the operator starts in tablet view mode and dynamically switches to HUD view mode.