From chariots to cross-bows and from GPS to unmanned aircraft, ancient empires and modern states alike have focused on continually evolving their military systems. What’s next in the pantheon of military innovations? Holoportation and mixed reality (MR) devices that deliver immersive content are expected to be deployed for service missions in the very near future.

Using these technologies, military forces can bring information from command centers or other sources and control its dispatch out to the edge – that is, live to the men and women who are conducting missions or repairs, or in synthetic training environments.

Holoportation allows high-quality 2D/3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed and transmitted anywhere in the world in real time. When combined with mixed reality displays, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, this technology allows users to see, hear and interact with remote participants in 3D.

DXC Technology and Microsoft demonstrated holoportation technology and a Tactical Cloud Package at theDefence and Security Equipment International DSEI 2023 expo in London, where the theme centers on accelerating the integrated force. We presented a scenario of a team of operatives planning a potentially contested route to their mission objective. The scenario highlighted visualizing the route and objectives through a 3D rendered picture of the landscape on HoloLens 2 devices — presenting an immersive experience that goes beyond overlaps on maps — and featured a remote actor holoporting into the team’s environment to provide planning advice.

Another demonstration depicted a reconnaissance mission scenario, where the Tactical Cloud Package, an integrated compute and network solution, acts as a networking bridge to higher command from the tactical edge and on mobile equipment, which could be deployed in a command vehicle. When connections to the cloud are available, the endpoint can leverage them for greater connectivity directly to the battlefield, taking advantage of the Azure Cloud and the augmented capabilities that come with it. The demonstration showcased different types of sensor feeds rendered in a ruggedized mixed reality display, such as lidar mapping of a subterranean cave system, or UAV feeds of terrain being rendered in 3D, as well as using AI for object detection.  

As a Microsoft Mixed Reality Gold Partner, DXC Technology provides Mixed Reality services at scale, including HoloLens device management, content development and global technical support. Moving forward, DXC is positioned to provide management capabilities for analytics and AI, and build new content and capabilities for the defense industry on top of what is our already well-established mixed reality offering. 

It’s no easy task to bring to life in the real world what has been a sci-fi movie staple for years, from Princess Leia’s plea to Obi-Wan Kenobi for help to Tony Stark’s holographic tables.

Holographs: from Star Wars to reality

Many technology companies have been trying to get holoportation right for years; streaming live people in 3D is the next step in collaboration beyond using avatars. It’s no easy task to bring to life in the real world what has been a sci-fi movie staple for years, from Princess Leia’s plea to Obi-Wan Kenobi for help to Tony Stark’s holographic tables.

For one thing, on the backend, holoportation requires good data – accurate navigational data to analyze traffic along possible mission routes to find the least trafficked path and deliver that information to operatives in realtime as circumstances change, for example. There’s also the potential to leverage big data, AI and machine learning to perform human behavioral analytics, to work out likely enemy responses to actions and holoport advisors into the field to counsel teams in realtime. If you can provide information to your assets in a field more quickly and visually than an enemy force can, chances for mission success increase. 

The defense industry is notable for being early testers or adopters of new technology for multiple purposes, including empowering the soldier. Last month the US Army received 20 current prototypes of the military version of the Hololens, and it is now undergoing testing.

DXC was the VIP sponsor for the DSEI event, and hosted a panel session entitled, Mission data: Unlocking the integrated force potential in survivability and lethality. Additionally, DXC showcased rugged IT infrastructure that facilitates Azure cloud applications in Denied, Disrupted, Intermittent, and Limited bandwidth (DDIL) environments.

About the authors

About the authors

Nathalie Vancluysen is head of XR and Distinguished Technologist at DXC Technology. She leads the global extended reality (XR) business in DXC that includes immersive technologies such as AR, VR and MR. She is responsible for building the strategy and portfolio while working together with key partners and customers.

Max Hemingway is Distinguished Technologist at DXC Technology, and has over 30 years of experience working in the IT Industry. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, Chartered IT Professional as well as TOGAF 9 Certified. He is also a STEM Ambassador with