ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation holds dozens of hearings a year, they are usually pretty routine. But in a hearing called "Exploring Augmented Reality" Nov. 16, a team from the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center brought the 'wow factor' -- a demonstration of augmented reality. 



Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and Jeff Moran of Kansas wore the state-of-the-art head-mounted display the ECBC team developed and brought with them. The senators saw a virtual image and detailed assembly instructions integrated onto a physical model of a biodetector and its components as more than 35 staffers looked on.



"These more advanced AR devices and techniques show that the potential of this technology goes far beyond smartphone games, and could one day have a major impact on manufacturing, transportation, medicine, and eventually the daily lives of average Americans," Thune said. "AR technology promises to take all of the information that has been confined to the Internet over the past few decades and integrate it into the physical world, where such content can be most useful and do the most good."



The ECBC team spoke with industry developers who testified later in the hearing and are working on commercial applications. 



"This was a terrific opportunity for our experts in this area to show the nation's policymakers that ECBC is on the cutting edge of a transformative technology," said ECBC Director Dr. Joseph Corriveau. "And that we are doing it with the safety of our warfighters, first responders and the nation from chemical biological threats foremost in our minds." 



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The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.