iPhone Apps Bring Augmented Reality to War Games

By Sam Cook

A smart phone app for real life war games shows us what future tech for actual warfare may look like.

Real life war games have many advantages over their video game counterparts, but are severely lacking when it comes to the HUD. Wouldn’t reality work much better if it included a local area map, an objective direction pointer, and a tooltip about which button you should press to reload? Well now you can get all those benefits—minus the last one—using the BattleTac GPS information system, the Layar general-purpose augmented reality app, and a gun-mounted iPhone or Android handset.

Blue Force Trackers, which allow soldiers in the field to see the movements of friendly vehicles. Meanwhile, the Army is researching potential uses for militarized smart phones, and recently wrapped up their Apps for the Army contest—which awarded prizes for best Army-specific mobile applications. And while discussing this kind of handset research, Maj. Gen. Keith Walker even said that he “could envision tactical applications, like an app with GPS capability that could pinpoint the user’s location.”

You don’t have to envision it, sir. Some paintball enthusiasts already have it running.    
Image credits: BattleTac