Augmented and mixed reality (MR) enterprise solutions ThirdEye and technology development firm 3D Media have partnered to improve the US Air Force’s (USAF) airframe training.

The partnership follows after USAF’s AFWERX awarded 3D Media a $1m Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for augmented reality (AR) tools for training.

ThirdEye’s X2 MR Glasses was shortlisted for further research and development, as well as implementation into the USAF and the US Department of Defense in the future.

The glasses are expected to enhance USAF flight crews’ training and human performance, increasing efficiency. Additionally, the glasses will improve the safety and proficiency of flight line maintainers operating leading airframes of the USAF.

ThirdEye Founder and CEO Nick Cherukuri said: “As more of the world’s military adopt AR and MR solutions to better support the training and work of personnel, we’re honoured to be working with 3D Media to contribute to the USAF’s efforts and increase the safety of our airmen.

“From our previous work in the military, ThirdEye’s X2 MR Glasses have undergone drop tests, so we know it’s ready to support airmen however needed, no matter where they are.”

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The MR glasses have been designed to fulfil a variety of military requirements and are fully functional in harsh environmental conditions.

Featuring the built-in proprietary 3D simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) system, the glasses weigh 300g and are the lightest available in the market.

It has been installed with CAD modelling and overlay, which projects drawings onto the X2 MR Glasses display. Screenshots and image enlargement can be done for improved efficiency.

3D Media CEO and founder Daryl Roy said: “By partnering with ThirdEye, we’re arming airmen with X2 MR glasses to significantly improve their day-to-day. I believe that augmented reality’s largest opportunity is in the area of human performance, where there’s no margin for error.

“ThirdEye has proven to be successful in military environments, and with life and death literally on the line, it’s important to arm our military personnel with the best.”

Moreover, 5G capabilities of the glasses enable voice command facility, without the need for Wi-Fi increasing connectivity.

The glasses also function with the latest Android operating system to allow easy software upgrades.