AR/VR and Military Use (no politics please) — Oculus
New to the forums? Click here to read the "How To" Guide.

Developer? Click here to go to the Developer Forums.

AR/VR and Military Use (no politics please)

DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player

Interesting article about providing HoloLens to the military.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47339774

50 Microsoft employees let the company know that's not what they signed up for. It's probably going to become a big issue as AR & VR becomes commonplace in various aspects of life.

My view is, where military cutting edge technology is concerned, that train left the station a long time ago. But I can completely understand the employees viewpoints, if the possibility of military use wasn't in their job descriptions, they seem to me to have a legitimate grievance.

I assume Oculus have mechanisms in place to allow it's employees have a say. Or are at least more explicit in the contracts they write up.

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18362.175)

Comments

  • RichooalRichooal Posts: 1,041
    Wintermute
    In an ideal world, all the sensible, well rounded people would get together and decide what's good and what's bad for everybody. But then you would get minority groups jumping up and down complaining. I don't think we'll ever win because we have so many individuals living together.

    I don't think it should be employees deciding the direction a company takes, and in the Microsoft example, we're talking about 0.04% of the employee's objecting.
    If the company direction is hard to live with it's probably better to leave and have no part in it.

    Also it could be argued that the use of HoloLens technology in the military would save the lives of those using it. Being able to see something added digitally gives options to avoid as well as encounter.
    i5 6600k - GTX1060 - 8GB RAM - 0 PROBLEMS
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    edited February 23

    Totally agree. But an employees contract should include a clause stating something like 'Microsoft reserves the right to use the technology you're developing in any way it sees fit'. Also, not sure what percentage that 50 is of the total HoloLens development team. Maybe a small percentage but more than .04% I'm guessing (unless the letter signatories were form all areas of Microsoft's business).

    The problem probably stems from the big divide between what most people associate VR/AR use with when they become developers, I.e. entertainment, and a $480m contract for military use (Edit: and the line between what Microsoft has previously done with military contracts and what is now seen as weapons development).

    Edit:

    Incidentally I have no issue with military use of technology and I made the same arguments about engineering saving lives rather than costing lives when I was asked the same question during my very first job interview for aircraft technician with the RAF.

    I think though that HoloLens devs wouldn't have had a similar question asked at their interviews, and looking at the figures, 100,000 headsets for the military is a large enough percentage of overall sales to warrant that question being asked.

    Just my view.

    Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18362.175)
  • saami81saami81 Posts: 100
    Art3mis
    VR isnt good for military use. THere was a big article in finnish PELIT-magazine about it. Itt was said that VR glasses are way too big and it is impossible to use weapons naturally with them. Even for simulator uses old way with cockpit and screens is better.

    That was an finnish military professionals opinion. I trust that they know what they talk about.
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    One day, headsets will be small enough for that not to be an issue I think @saami81 but yeah, right now probably worth investigating the possibilities rather than for use in combat situations.
    Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18362.175)
  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,738 Volunteer Moderator
    edited February 23
    I think AR will definitely be used in a HUD kind of way more and more. Basically what games have had for ages. 

    Combined with biometric sensors, infrared lasers and all sort of another tech, such as smart guns etc,  a soldier could in theory have

    X-Ray vision
    Health bar! (i kid you not)
    Remaining ammo in clip
    Location of the enemy based on satellite imagery fed directly onto the HUD in 3D
    Using a miniaturised head mounted LIDAR, a 3d map of their surroundings (perfect for scouts, to relay that back to HQ)
    On-screen information about the position of squad mates within the terrain

    AR has HUGE applications in this space. It's not a matter of IF, but when.


    Core i7-7700k @ 4.9 Ghz | 32 GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance @ 3000Mhz | 2x 1TB Samsung Evo | 2x 4GB WD Black
    ASUS MAXIMUS IX HERO | MSI AERO GTX 1080 OC @ 2000Mhz | Corsair Carbide Series 400C White (RGB FTW!) 

    Be kind to one another :)
  • MorgrumMorgrum Posts: 1,539 Valuable Player

    VR would only be used for training purposes in the military.

    I have shown one of our pilots my VR rig for DCS and he liked it a hell of a lot more then their ancient simulator.

    We already have AR helmets being used for our fighter pilots translating information directly from their HUD and PAD in front of their eyes.

    It helps reaction time because pilots are not constantly glancing in three different locations while trying to maintain contact.

    Lets not bring up that abysmal failure of a HMD that the F35 was supposed to use.

    There is a reason that they had to redesign the 75% of the F35 cockpit to put a HUD back into it.

    To much information is just to much information and can be disorienting.

    WAAAGH!
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,585 Valuable Player
    Yup, I have no problems with VR and AR being used by the military. Anything that has the potential to save lives of our servicemen and women is a good thing imo. Sounds like the Microsoft staff that complained about it were a bunch of lily white snowflakes to me.

    We're also starting to see VR being used to treat PTSD these days, our servicemen and women don't get and have never had anywhere near as much support that they deserve after serving their country.
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,738 Volunteer Moderator
    @snowdog lets not use the snowflake term please, it can lead to derailment. Thanks. Id like to keep this thread open on a pure tech front. Thanks.
    Core i7-7700k @ 4.9 Ghz | 32 GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance @ 3000Mhz | 2x 1TB Samsung Evo | 2x 4GB WD Black
    ASUS MAXIMUS IX HERO | MSI AERO GTX 1080 OC @ 2000Mhz | Corsair Carbide Series 400C White (RGB FTW!) 

    Be kind to one another :)
  • RolzRolz Posts: 197
    Art3mis
    Generally I've found technology being pushed the furthest and the fastest by 2 industries, porn and military... I respect people disagreeing with it, but until we have "world peace" I double it'll ever change.
    CPU: i7 7700K @ 5GHz | GPU: Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB| MOBO: Asus ROG Maximus IX Code | RAM: 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3200MHz | HDD: Samsung 960 EVO 500 M.2, Micron 512GB SSD, RAID5 WD RED 1.8TB| PSU: Corsair HX850 | OS: Win 10 x86_64| MONITOR: Oculus Rift CV1 | Audio: Onboard Realtek | Gear: Fanatec CSW v2 | Rim Clubsport BMW GT2, Clubsport Formula | Fanatec Shifter SQ v1.5 | DSD 2015 Pedals | Sim-Lab GT1 | Vision Racer Bucket Seat

  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    Just so long as they don't combine them... military porn is amongst the worst I've seen.

    On a serious note though, I'd be happy for an algorithm I'd developed for object recognition to be used for military purposes if that's what was in my contract. Not so much if it wasn't.

    I mean imagine doing your best work, being motivated by the idea that it could help dentify a tumour for example... only to find your algorithm used for weapons lock.

    Could be a nasty surprise if your contract hadn't included that possibility.
    Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18362.175)
  • edmgedmg Posts: 1,134
    Wintermute
    I mean imagine doing your best work, being motivated by the idea that it could help dentify a tumour for example... only to find your algorithm used for weapons lock.

    Could be a nasty surprise if your contract hadn't included that possibility.
    Only if you believe your employer works for you, not the other way around. Which does seem to be a common illusion among Millennials.

    And probably particularly problematic for big tech companies like Microsoft who employ so many non-Americans.
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    I think wherever you live (well mostly) the problem is pretty much the same and I see this as a very simple thing to resolve, even where milennials are concerned. Clarity of employment contracts.
    Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18362.175)
  • edmgedmg Posts: 1,134
    Wintermute
    Dunno. I remember the days when you worked for your employer and left politics outside the building.

    This belief that politics is more important than working is one reason why some people I know online refuse to hire Millenials.
  • SkScotcheggSkScotchegg Posts: 1,048
    Wintermute
    I honestly believe VR HMD's will have their use in the military eventually. Imagine controlling and viewing out of robots like the dogs they have created or drones, and eventually huge AI robots that can run on the ground with all kinds of cameras and sensors attached. They could go into conflict from the safety of their military bases and just use the robots to fight the battles for them. They could use AI for the robots most of the time but once they detect the enemy the army/user takes over back at the command center, put's on their HMD and then controls whats happens.
    UK: England - Leeds - - RTX 2080 - Make love, not war - See you in the Oasis!
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    edited February 25
    edmg said:
    Dunno. I remember the days when you worked for your employer and left politics outside the building.

    This belief that politics is more important than working is one reason why some people I know online refuse to hire Millenials.

    By all means leave politics outside of the office but make it clear within the contracts being signed that that's the agreement. I really don't think you can have it both ways where weapons development is concerned.

    I'm also uncomfortable with the use of the term Millennial, it seems to be used in so many cases as a means to dismiss the arguments of people who have a different point of view without having to address the argument itself. It's the same deal with the term politically correct when it's almost always used as a tool to dismiss rather than argue (constructively I mean :) ).

    If it's too complicated to make contracts sufficiently specific, the answer would be to separate the military and non-military arms of Microsoft's development. In fact I suspect this is the solution that is most likely to be adopted.

    It's probably the best way Microsoft can protect itself form potential sales damage globally if it moves towards military use application rather than entertainment and business applications that it's identity has been built around to date.

    Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18362.175)
  • Hiro_Protag0nistHiro_Protag0nist Posts: 4,757 Valuable Player
    I think wherever you live (well mostly) the problem is pretty much the same and I see this as a very simple thing to resolve, even where milennials are concerned. Clarity of employment contracts.

    To clarify to all new employees:  You will do what you are told or you can hand in your notice.

    Yep, it isn't difficult.
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,585 Valuable Player
    Dear Oculus Microsoft, I'm VERY pissed off that you've decided to work on military contracts. Fuck you, I'm buying a Vive I'm working for Sony.

     B)  :D
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    I think wherever you live (well mostly) the problem is pretty much the same and I see this as a very simple thing to resolve, even where milennials are concerned. Clarity of employment contracts.

    To clarify to all new employees:  You will do what you are told or you can hand in your notice.

    Yep, it isn't difficult.

    In all seriousness, a job description should be agreed before you've done your work for a company rather than afterwards. And if it just says 'do what you're told' that's pretty much perfect for the average sign-up to the armed services.... not really so much so for civilian professions.
    Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v1903 (18362.175)
Sign In or Register to comment.