Oculus Rift headsets help solve the genuinely tricky design issue plaguing tanks of all kinds throughout history: how do you lock a soldier up in tonnes of metal and still let them see where they’re going?
According to The Verge, the Norwegian Armed Forces have mounted cameras on the outside of a tank which, when combined with an Oculus Rift headset, give the operator a 360° view of their surroundings.
Although it’s just in the prototype stage, there are reasons why it might go mainstream – it’s much cheaper than conventional systems and allows for HUDs.
Check it out in action on TU TV; you’ll hear one driver describe it as similar to playing Battlefield, which is kind of amazing.
This definitely isn’t the first non-gaming use the virtual reality headset has been put to. For example, Ford’s using it in its design processes.
If you’ve been paying attention to Oculus representatives – notably Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe – since the Facebook acquisition, you’ll notice there’s been a lot of talk about building a platform beyond just gaming.
“Do you want to build a platform that has a billion users on it, or only 10, 20, or 50 million?” Iribe said at a conference this week, where he mentioned his intention to see a 1 billion player MMO come about.