You read that right, BATMAN. The Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided (K)nowledge (BATMAN) is an elite research and development team beta testing Google Glass for possible use on the battlefield.
BATMAN, a part of the 711th Human Performance wing of the U.S Air Force, is made up of both military and civilian behavioral and technology scientists whose research is dedicated to improving human performance in the field. The group is currently investigating the possibilities of using the Google Glass to allow soldiers easy and fast access to important information in situations where there isn’t time or maneuverability to break out a laptop.
The BATMAN team is testing the use of the glass on scenarios like ground control troops helping bombers locate their targets and for use in search and rescue missions. Having fast access to local maps and potential routes could aide troops in completing tasks quickly and potentially more safely. The “real” Batman makes use of the once far-fetched technology often, using it to pinpoint the location of Joker’s hideout, for instance. Imagine a squadron of likewise armed troops heading into a civilian situation, able to avoid the risk of collateral damage by being able to zone in directly on their target.
The Air Force isn’t getting any special treatment when it comes to accessing this new technology, a fact that Google really wants people to know.
“The glass explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters, and parents. Anyone can apply to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18,”
Google said in an official statement to VentureBeat, who were also told by an unidentified source that Google has no plans to ever form a working relationship with the U.S. Air Force.
Having signed up and obtained the Google Glass through the same route civilians have to take – signing up for Google explorers and then paying the $1,500 per Glass – the BATMAN team may not be bothered by Google’s aversion to teaming up. As a rule, the 711th tests existing technology and then builds, tests and deploys its own, so a military specific version of the Android powered wearable computer may be in their future plans.
The U.S Navy is taking on similar technology, although with a much heftier price tag for taxpayers. The New York based technology company Vuzix was awarded $75,000 and $680,000 grants from the U.S Office of Naval Research to integrate the wearable technology into a pair of goggles.
While technology companies, firefighters, doctors and the like have been working hard to develop real world uses of the technology through Googles Explorer program, regular Joes and Josephines such as yourselves can give the glass a whirl for the $1500 price without having to get on a waiting list, today only. Then you, too, can harness the power of instant information just like the Batman….and BATMAN.