Norwegian army uses the Oculus Rift to operate real tanks5 May 2014
Forget gaming for a minute, there are other useful applications for the Oculus rift and the Norwegian army want to prove it.
Driving a tank in a real war situation must be a nightmare, visibility is not exactly great and sticking your head out the top for a good view would not be a wise decision. The Norwegian army has been experimenting with the Oculus Rift by giving the driver a headset which provides a 185 degree view on each side of the tank. The tank is fitted with cameras on each side and through a PC and the Rift the image is sent back to the driver.
As the creators of the system point out, you have a much better view from a tank in games like Battlefield and with this system they can “add elements we are used to from games”. Currently the Oculus puts too much strain on a driver’s eyes so it’s not ideal but the advantage of using hardware such as the Oculus is that it’s cheaper than any specially created system by the military. As the hardware prices drop on commercial headsets it’s going to be easier to adapt them at a fraction of the cost.
The ideal situation would be to have no diver at all and have the driver sit in some nice warm simulator while the tank does its business drone style.
You can watch the demonstration in the news report on Norwegian station TuTV