Todays, windows are as important as they are inconvenient. You need them to see where you're going, but they're vulnerable to attack, not to mention vision-obscuring grime. That's why the defense contractors competing in Darpa's program to develop a new generation of ground vehicles have so far stuck to a common theme: sayonara, windows.
In January, Raytheon previewed its entry to Darpa's Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program, which aims to keep American soldiers safe by ditching windows in favor of laser-mapped virtual renditions of the outside world.
Now Honeywell has unveiled its competitor, a system that taps augmented reality to give operators a complete sense of their surroundings, no old-timey windows necessary.
The system, which Honeywell recently tested using professional drivers at an off-road course in Arizona, could be used on all sorts of military ground vehicles. It features panoramic internal displays that provide a view of the outside world, one unobstructed by dust and dirt or by the thick pillars necessary in combat vehicles. Roof-mounted cameras collect that external imagery, which onboard computers stitch together into a cohesive image.