Spy glasses offer better situational awareness for warfighters

The X6 spy glasses could prove to be invaluable for many military applications

Spy glasses offer better situational awareness for warfighters

(Photo courtesy of Osterhout Design Group)

By Military1 Staff 

Imagine identifying the enemy with a single glance, or knowing exactly where your fellow soldier is when the alarm goes up for assistance. Soon, all of that could be possible with a new pair of glasses that are primed to hit the market.

The simply named X6 spy glasses, created by the Osterhout Design Group of San Francisco, Calif., are looking to give competitors like Google Glass and the Oculus Rift a run for their money.

The glasses combine the abilities of the two aforementioned rivals, but the X6 claims to offer an ‘immersive experience’ that won’t block your vision. Built on a powerful, multi-core processor that uses a custom, optimized Android OS, the lenses of the glasses allow a high definition view of the world with 3D imagery.

Location, location, location
Peering through the glasses, one will see a flat, two-dimensional map that is quickly populated by three-dimensional buildings. This is supported by high-precision IMU sensors that enable a seamless, augmented experience with location-centric awareness.

The application pulls in a satellite photograph and then uses GPS coordinates from a server to populate the map depending on the location depicted. It can pass on information in the form of structures, special instructions, clues, and more, all without obstructing the user’s view.

Advanced identification 
The other major feature the glasses promise is the ability to identify people at a glance. The glasses utilize a biometric application created by Imagus Technology, founded by Dr. Brian Lovell. The application allows faces viewed through the glasses to be matched in real time with those in a database.

The application can identify a face at a resolution of just twelve pixels between the eyes.

Currently, the X6 is not available commercially. However, the Department of Defense is getting the first crack at them, having put in an order for 500 beta units.