Oculus founder Palmer Luckey left Facebook in 2017 to found his own defense technology company, Anduril Industries. It’s mostly been in the business of creating AI software, autonomous drones, and threat detection systems, however a Business Insider interview reveals that Anduril is heading back into familiar territory by working on AR/VR software created specifically to aid warfighters on the battlefield.

Brian Schimpf, co-founder and CEO of Anduril, told Business Insider that the company’s software would ideally serve a hypothetical AR/VR headset with the ability to provide soldiers with diagnostics and threat detection, with things on the menu such as alerting its user to gunfire and providing appropriate places to take cover.

Anduril isn’t in the business of making that hypothetical headset however, at least not yet. At the moment, the company is essentially trying to find a way to present available information, gathered from a number of sources, so it’s both intelligible and capable of letting soldiers make correct split-second decisions.

“The real moonshot for us is the idea – you want to have every soldier, every operator, be able to have total awareness of what’s going on,” Schimpf tells Business Insider. “They know everything they need to know to do their job, and all of this is available to them in a millisecond, and just the critical information they need.”

This, Schimpf says, is a “far future” project, although he says the company does have a “couple of very cool things on virtual reality.”

Image courtesy Anduril Industries

With Anduril’s set of interlinked technologies, you may very well imagine a AR/VR headset ca[able of feeding data to soldiers from the company’s ‘Ghost’ UAS, a drone that fits into a backpack that’s capable of autonomously mapping and surveilling territory, or data from the company’s ‘Sentry Tower’, a device deployed in fixed locations and designed to detect and classify threats—a key piece in the company’s virtual border wall.

Microsoft Wins $480M Defense Contract to Provide U.S. Army with AR Headsets

Moreover, the headset, should it be deployed to multiple troops in a conflict, could provide a better means of communication, both audio and visual, between forward operators and their base of operations.

Founded shortly after Luckey’s departure from Facebook, Anduril has attracted talent from some of the biggest Silicon Valley players, including Oculus, Palantir, General Atomics, SpaceX, Tesla, and Google—companies that generally shy away from directly developing defense technology. This, Luckey tells CNBC in an interview back in May, is because many of the top tech companies simply won’t due to PR concerns, and both company and shareholder ideology.

Anduril doesn’t have to deal with the issue, as its main goal is provide the US Department of Defense with AI and autonomous technology, of which it currently holds a half-dozen such contracts.

At the time of this writing Anduril has garnered $41 million in investment, valuing the company at $1 billion.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Justos

    this actually makes me sad. Because palmers ass would be the last one on any battlefield. Why support war and death. Sigh

    • Jeremiah Tothenations

      He actually loves the USA.

      • JCat_NY

        So does everyone else. That trick no longer works.

        • gothicvillas

          not everyone. Some want to destroy borders, its not a love to their own homeland

          • Jimmy Ray

            Lots of stew pot. Let it destroy the only place to escape. USA. Just saying

    • dogtato

      I don’t know, it feels kind of inevitable and may result in fewer deaths.The simplest argument is that it can save the lives of the people using it, but it could also save non-combatants by classifying them and relaying that info clearly.

    • bud01
    • crim3

      I’m a pacifist, but as long as there are people with medieval thinking threatning my everyday life I’d rather have “my side” armed to the teeth and with the best warfare technology creating a protective shell around my said “everyday life”.

      • Jimmy Ray

        Well you well be well. Humped.

      • killdozer

        Americans are only nation on Earth that needs to defend itself on the other end of world

    • Grey Lock

      I’m all for bringing our troops home, starting with those still deployed from WWII in Germany and Japan. That said, I want all our troops that are deployed, including my family members, to have every safety advantage there is, and therefore back what Palmer’s company is doing.

    • Trenix

      While you live in a bubble, freedom is not guaranteed and needs war and death for it to exist. Even as we speak, we have people inside our country that want to take our rights away. People like you are what jeopardize the lives of others because you only know what it’s like to live protected and babied by a government. You’re like the people who claim everyone is generally peaceful and go to the wrong country and wind up dead. Our world is not a safe place without force.

      • killdozer

        Maybe US should stop bombing weddings , that would help

        • Trenix

          Maybe Muslims should stop bombing infidels, that would help.

    • Jimmy Ray

      Because you play. dDont be Dick.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    This guy is the Edison of vr or rather Tesla together.

    • Graham J ⭐️

      Save us Jesu!

  • So in the end, he may work with VR again!

  • MosBen

    I’m ok with this guy getting a redemption arc, but this isn’t it.

  • Jimmy Ray

    Glad he is advancing. And supporting our troops. No one likes war but you have to defend yourself or you become a slave or die.

  • Jimmy Ray

    We all want a peaceful world. But that can never be achieved not even if we become robots… mind and body.

  • Helen Anderson

    I don’t think he will be able to overcome Microsoft’s $500M IVAS contract using the Hololens2.

  • Smokey_the_Bear