Remember Tony Stark’s augmented reality lenses from the Iron Man movies — the ones that separated civilians from hostiles, so the Iron Man knew whom to target? What about Luke Skywalker’s binoculars from Star Wars, which could automatically detect threats from further away than human eyes could see?
Now such threat-detecting devices aren’t just the fantasy of films. The U.S. military is developing binoculars that read the user’s own subconscious brainwaves to help identify threats from afar.
The goggles, announced this week by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, have been given the clunky name “Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System” — or CT2WS for short.
So if you’re the military’s main research and development branch, what do you do to help soldiers in combat more easier spot enemies? First, build a “120 megapixel camera capable of scanning across 120 degrees of view” to replace your soldier’s conventional binoculars, according to The Register. These can take multiple images with each scan and feed them to a software program to identify potential threats. Next, if you’re DARPA, quickly become frustrated, because nearly half the “threats” the best software program identifies aren’t threats at all, making them effectively useless for soldiers in the field.