Oculus founder Palmer Luckey left the company back in March, but since then he has been promising that he has big things planned, and that he is far from done with virtual reality (VR). This seems to be the case, as his new defence start-up is looking into VR and augmented reality (AR) for battlefield applications.
Luckey’s new firm, named Anduril – an apparent reference to Aragorn’s reforged sword Andúril in The Lord of the Rings, is looking into applications for VR technology that involve ‘real-time battlefield awareness for soldiers’.
Though it is not clear at this point exactly what Anduril are working on, or exactly what role Luckey is filling within the company, the above description suggests something broadly similar to the kind of AR technologies that have been prototyped elsewhere, such as the heads-up display AR glasses that have seen testing by the US Army. Alternatively, the VR technology could be used for enhanced navigation for armoured military vehicles.
According to TechCrunch, a source who has spoken with Anduril’s founders said that Luckey currently seems to be focussed on applying AR technology to defence. Considering how quickly Oculus managed to go from proof of concept to mass produced consumer project, applying this knowledge and know-how to defence contracting, which is known for its notoriously slow development times, might seem a logical step for military leaders.
Luckey himself has said little on what he is currently working on. If asked, all he will say is: “I can’t say anything at the moment. The only thing I can say is that I am trying to once more change VR.”
VRFocus will continue to report on new developments in VR and AR technology.