Applied Research Associates Inc. (ARA)

ARC4 (Augmented Reality) Software

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) introduced ARC4, the most advanced, wearable augmented reality (AR) software available. ARC4 is a transformative technology that re-defines true augmented reality. Developed over six years with substantial investment from DARPA’s ULTRA-Vis program and ARA, ARC4 will usher in an exciting new era of information display and consumption.

ARC4 software integrates seamlessly with any heads-up display, allowing users to see virtual information such as icons and messages overlaid accurately on their real-world view. ARA’s engineers and scientists developed algorithms that accurately track a users’ position and look direction to deliver a persistent, immersive, and dynamic heads-up view. ARA’s breakthrough geo-referencing capabilities and low-cognitive load user interface enable AR for outdoor, on-the-move applications.

ARC4’s lead engineer, Dave Roberts, PhD., describes ARC4 as “a flat-out game changer that’s ideal for anyone who wants to visualize, create, and share heads-up information.” He explains, “ARC4 will change the way you see and interact with the world around you – the same way the smart phone changed the way you communicate.” ARA’s team is working with several large companies to enable true AR in their heads-up displays. Dr. Roberts and his team envision future applications of ARC4 in:

  • Consumer Products: Real-world object tagging and sharing for socially networked users
  • Team Coordination: Shared awareness for emergency management and response
  • Logistics and operations: Tracking assets, personnel, and tasks for worksites and events
  • Immersive Training and gaming: Virtual avatars and effects embedded with live operations

Originally designed for warfighters to enhance situational awareness and enable non-voice, non-line of sight teammate coordination, ARC4 delivers precision geo-registration and true AR unlike any product to date. As prime contractor for DARPA’s ULTRA-Vis program, ARA developed a soldier-worn AR system that presents heads-up tactical information for on-the-move operations. This state-of-the-art technology provides heads-up situational awareness for the military – allowing soldiers to perform their jobs with enhanced safety, speed, and mission effectiveness.

ARC4 offers multiple unique features and capabilities:

  • Display Agnostic. ARC4 renders AR information on any wearable see-through display – including night vision devices, making it easy to integrate with existing products.
  • Head Tracking. Algorithms track user position and orientation in outdoor environments, enabling accurate overlay of virtual icons and messages on the real world.
  • Heads-Up Visualization. The intuitive heads-up UI communicates object locations, user position, and look direction. Users tag real world objects with virtual icons and annotations.
  • User Coordination. ARC4 enables users to project icons, images, and messages on others’ real world views, facilitating non-verbal and non-line-of-sight coordination.