The U.S Air Force has developed a mobile recruiting center that uses 3-D video and augmented reality to immerse prospective enlistees in simulated military missions.
The recruitment center, known as Command Center Alpha, made its debut on April 22 in Florida, and has since made visits to Indianapolis 500, the Ocean City Air Show, and Nashville’s Country Music Association Music Festival.
Command Center Alpha
Approximately the size of a basketball court, Command Center Alpha is being used to recruit “the best, most qualified candidates to join the Air Force,” said Kristin Krajecki, an account director at Idea City, the ad firm in charge of the mobile tour program.
To create the augmented reality, the Air Force used and wireless Motion J3400 tablet PCs, D’Fusion software and Autodesk Maya to create 3-D models.
Before entering the virtual missions, visitors are asked to complete a survey to gauge their level of interest in joining military service. Each participant is then given a wristband embedded with a radio tag, and a tablet computer – although Krajecki said she wanted to use iPads, the devices don’t have enough processing power yet.
J3400 Tablet PC
Inside Command Center Alpha the walls and ceiling are lined with images corresponding to the different careers within the Air Force. By pointing the tablets camera at these images, the D’Fusion software integrates 3-D graphics and video, entering the user into one of 20 different missions.
Augmented Reality Missions
Missions include Search and Rescue to experience pararescue and air combat situations; a rocket launch, which is displayed on a tabletop in the Space room; the maneuvering of an unmanned aerial vehicle such as the Reaper or Predator; and tracking objects orbiting the earth using a 3-D globe with satellites and space debris.