Augmented reality goggles have been around for a while now and have been used for many different purposes. Recently the United States Military has been looking into AR goggles for military dogs! The military has been using highly trained dogs for sniffing out explosives, finding targets, and working with patrols in dangerous areas. The handlers communicate with their dogs using laser pointers or hand signals, but both of these require the handler to be within the line of sight of the dog. This hinders what a K9 team can do, unless there was a way for officers to command the dogs remotely. That’s where the new augmented reality goggles come in. With these a handler would be able to communicate with their dog from a much larger distance. Being able to communicate without a line of sight would mean that handlers could direct dogs to a location while staying hidden in a dangerous situation, potentially saving many lives!
The goggles have a built in camera that can live stream video back to the hander, showing them what the dog sees. The head display is where commands can be viewed by the dog. Right now the goggles are wired and are only a prototype, but in the future they will be wireless. Each pair of goggles has to be designed to function properly, be able to handle the amount of wear the dogs will put on them, and be correctly fitted for the specific dog in mind. They are being developed by Command Sight in Seattle. Command Sight is still two years away from a working wireless prototype, at which point they plan to make revisions before releasing the goggles for manufacturing. When the goggles are properly working they could be used to save countless human lives as well as canines! It is high time we give our hard working, four legged friends a leg up!