Unity recently released its second quarter 2022 financial results, with a lot of interesting disclosures. One of them was Unity’s partnership with CACI International, which is a technology and service provider for many branches of the US Govt, including the military. With this deal, Unity is going help in the development of Smart Human Machine Interfaces for the US govt, most likely the military.
Smart Human Machine Interface
With exponential improvements in technology, a lot of it has also crept in the military. Modern weapon systems are actually quite difficult to use, and need weeks or often months of training to operate efficiently. Something like the F-22 Raptor fighter jet probably has hundreds of buttons on its dashboard, and the pilots need to learn about them all. That’s where Smart Human Machine Interfaces come in, which essentially aim to translate human intention to action more efficiently, and reduce training times.
When I served as an executive for the Army before, one of the experiences I learned is with a lot of our weapons system, you really have to have a manual and go through weeks of training, if not months and years to be proficient, which is ridiculous,[Weapons systems] ought to be designed with the appropriate ease-of-use human/machine interface, so it will become much more intuitive.
– Heidi Shyu, Undersecretary of defense for research and engineering
Earlier this year, the US Department of Defense claimed that the development of simplified Human/Machine interfaces was a top priority for them. So where does Unity come in?
Well, Unity excels in real-time 3D software and rendering. Usually this can be used on commercial technologies like computers, mobile phones, VR headsets, ect. But even military technology can derive huge benefits from it, allowing them to make mock interfaces for weapon systems faster, and then refine it with further testing. This will allow the development of more intuitive interfaces.
Silicon Valley and The Military Don’t Gel Well Together
At least on the surface, many silicon valley tech firms face protest from workers when military contracts are accepted. A few years ago, Microsoft workers called out the tech giant on a $480 million U.S. Army contract. Google also had to make an A.I. pledge in 2018, after workers protested against a contract with the Pentagon. That’s not all, even Unity employees have expressed concern over the company’s dealings with the military before. Hopefully things will go smoother for the firm this time around.