Holograms Coming to a Military Theater Near You – Signal Magazine Features ICT and Todd Richmond

Published: January 24, 2016
Category: News

ICT virtual humans and virtual reality research and prototypes, including work in 3-D projection and head-mounted displays, was featured in an article about how holograms and similar technologies offer the possibility of realistic, cost-effective training and education for a broad array of military missions and commercial applications.
The article quotes Todd Richmond, ICT director of advanced prototypes, on how that holograms and hologram-type technologies offer a broad range of training potential. “It’s all over the map. We’ve used virtual characters for a whole bunch of different tasks,” Richmond says. He posits that a holographic virtual human could follow a service member throughout the person’s career. We’ve all had teachers, coaches or mentors who have significantly influenced our lives, Richmond says, and holograms could do the same. “That virtual character, if it’s tied into the right databases, knows the classes you’ve taken, has been around you enough to know your strengths and weaknesses, and [can] guide you through challenges and experiences that you come upon as you advance through your career,” Richmond suggests.
Advanced artificial intelligence technology would be needed for virtual life coaches, and the technology is making rapid strides. “Artificial intelligence ends up being a big part of it, and it is a very broad field with a difficult set of challenges. That’s why we have people working on the basic research side of things, and we also have people building the advanced prototypes so that we can actually put these things out in the field and test them to see what breaks,” Richmond says. The level of artificial intelligence needed depends largely on the purpose the virtual human serves. “It runs the gamut from not-very-smart artificial intelligence to smart within a very limited domain to systems that are broader and have broader simulations running underneath them,” Richmond elaborates.