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Why Are Norwegian Tank Drivers Wearing Oculus Rift Headsets?

"Those who play Battlefield do indeed have a better view than in an actual vehicle."

[Image: Flickr user chtifiun]

If you are a soldier, the inside of a tank is a very desirable place to be to avoid enemy bullets. The downside, of course, is that if you are piloting a gigantic armored vehicle, it can be very difficult to see what's going on around you on the battlefield. What to do?

Apparently, tank operators in Norway have come up with a neat solution for improving their field of vision: Oculus Rift's virtual reality headsets. According to The Verge and Engadget, Facebook's newly acquired VR mask is currently being tested by a firm called Making View, which is assisting the Norwegian Army's Battle Lab & Experimentation (NOBLE) Rift-friendly navigation software. By wearing the VR headset and tethering it to video cameras, drivers can turn their heads 360 degrees around them to see what's out there. It's almost as if the tank were invisible.

"Those who play Battlefield do indeed have a better view than in an actual vehicle," says Making View development manager Daniel Mestervik. "However, with our software you can add the information and views you are used to from games: an overview map, spatial (geographical) orientation, tilt and speed." See, it's kind of like a first-person war shooter—except, you know, with actual risks.

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