Fans of the post-apocalyptic video game series Fallout will instantly recognize what this trooper is wearing: a wrist-mounted computer similar to the Pip-Boy 3000 seen in the game. The Pip-Boy is your best friend in the wasteland, helping you survive the harsh world — in reality, it could do the same for soldiers.
At least, that's the hope. The displays, produced by Universal Display in cooperation with two other companies, are designed to display mission-pertinent data to the wearer. In theory, the more a soldier knows the better he performs, and being able to know everything he needs with a glance at his wrist could thus aid him greatly.
Right now, the U.S. Army only has eight of the units to play around with, according to OLED-Display:
The devices were presented to the military for evaluation and testing, and were showcased at the U.S. Army's C4ISR On-the-Move testing environment last month at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where they received positive feedback by senior leaders who make critical research, development and acquisition investment decisions.
So far, so good from the sounds of it. It'll be interesting to see if conceptually useful technology like these wrist-mounted units — which frequently appear in science fiction from video games to books and moves — will actually be a worthwhile tool for the military, or if they'll be discovered to be superfluous and little more than a fun toy. We're hoping for the former, because, well, they just look darn cool.