Oculus Rift helps Norwegian army navigate tanks like they're playing Battlefield

The Norwegian army is experimenting with virtual reality headset Oculus Rift as a way to let tank drivers see their surroundings, Norwegian site TUTV reports.

In a video on the site, Norwegian officials explain that the rig includes four separate cameras, each of which films from the side of the tank. That image is then transferred through a PC to the Oculus Rift, allowing drivers to see completely around the vehicle. Speaking about the setup, Combat Lab major Ola Petter Odden explained that the VR setup offers a benefit to tank drivers.

"Normally you would be more or less blind, because there is armor all around you," Odden said. "With this system, you can see just as well if you were seeing out the hatch.  It's more strenuous for the eyes, since it's a synthetic picture, so it will used when you think you could be shot at."

With the Oculus Rift, Odden said, the overall cost is significantly cheaper than military cameras.

"Those who play Battlefield can see much better than you do in an actual vehicle," added project member Daniel Ervik. "With our software, you can add elements we are used to from games."

You can watch the full video on TUTV's website.

Oculus Rift is often used for gaming, but the VR headset has also helped contribute to various experiments. A fiber broadband provider used it to demonstrate real-life lag, while a game designer brought a prototype home to help her dying grandmother experience the outside world again. Users have also used the Oculus Rift to help men and women virtually swap bodies or control drones.

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