Gamers, engineers, architects, and many other professionals actively use immersive technology. But does the military need it? The short answer is yes, it does. Warfare has evolved a lot in the past few decades. We are getting new weapons and equipment almost every year. Unfortunately, we’re also involved in new wars.
With that in mind, we need a strong military. And strong militaries require a lot of training and simulation. Right now, soldiers simulate battles by having drills. These drills are a good way to do it because we can actually engage with other soldiers.
However, that takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money. Using an AR/VR device can be cheaper and more effective.
Where and How Do We Use Immersive Technology?
Immersive technology can be used in simulation and training. For example, a US Air Force pilot has to train frequently. However, using an actual fighter jet costs money and takes up a lot of time. But with immersive technology, pilots can train in an AR/VR environment. They can hone their skills more frequently and at almost no expense.
Next, we have actual battle simulations. Most people think that it’s like playing Call of Duty with a VR headset. However, the environment in a military AR/VR headset has to look realistic. In other words, the soldier has to feel like they’re on a real battlefield.
Finally, there’s the immersive technology for medical training. We know that doctors are already using AR/VR products to train and learn new information. Digital environments allow them to test different types of surgery. The same goes for military doctors and nurses. With an AR/VR headset, they can train to treat injuries during a battle. It will save them time and money that real-life training usually requires.
The Military as a User Base
Military budgets are usually the biggest in any country. This fact isn’t really that strange. After all, militaries do employ a lot of people. For example, the United States Army has around 475.000 professional soldiers. It also employs 320.000 Air Force workers, 330.000 navy personnel and 185.000 marines.
Because of how many soldiers it employs, the United States is investing a lot of money in immersive technology. But it’s not the only country researching it. Using this technology comes with a lot of benefits. Therefore, other countries will try to use it as well. But how big is that market? According to the World Bank, countries with a higher GDP have 7 million active soldiers combined. By itself, that is a massive market. However, there are also medium and low-income countries. They will definitely try to invest in this tech as well.
By the year 2025, the AR/VR market can turn a profit of $1.4 billion. Right now, the total budget militaries around the world spend on simulation is $9.3 billion. Therefore, we would be using only 15% of that budget to develop immersive technology.
A single VR unit per soldier would cost around $2.000. This cost is similar to those of CAD or CAM software which architects and doctors use. We’ve also taken into account that this revenue is only for the 700.000 US soldiers. That’s half of the total number of active soldiers the US employs.
We should stress that this will not lose any money to the military. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It will cover all the costs of developing military immersive technology. In other words, if the military begins to use AR/VR headsets, it will save $400 million per year. Of course, that’s 400 million dollars saved only on flight simulation.