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Assessment of Augmentation Technologies for Improving Human Performance

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Human Factors and Medicine

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accelerated learning, assisted cognition, augmentations technologies, augmented reality, competency, human perceptual systems, mixed reality, multimodal immersion, performance, presence, training, virtual reality


The maturation of various technologies (e.g., augmented reality, virtual reality multimodal immersion, assisted cognition) has created opportunities for evaluating their applicability to training and operational environments within NATO countries. Because of the relevance, various RTGs of NATO STO HFM and NMSG have provided background in these areas. Many of these insights are summarized in NATO Emerged and Emerging Disruptive Technologies (E2DT) #8 “Virtual and Augmented Reality and Cognitive Interfaces”. However, since that work was completed (2010), there have been significant advancements and technology innovations, which have the potential to revolutionize training practices. Of particular interest is the impact of various augmentation technologies that may be able to enhance the assistive and immersive properties of virtual, augmented and mixed reality environments and thereby improve learning, performance, retention, and transfer of skills from training to operational environments. Research within various NATO nations and several commercial enterprises have produced capabilities and technologies (tools and methods) to supplement instructional and intelligently-guide experiences during training and operations. In addition, multimodal immersion and interoperability are areas of increasing research interest.


This effort will review and analyze opportunities for moving new and emerging augmentation technologies from state-of-art to state-of-practice for training and operations within the NATO alliance nations. The objective is to assess the effect of new/emerging system interaction capabilities for individual and units on learning, retention, performance and transfer, and their ability to manage cognitive load and the time/cost to reach a required level of competency. Identify current and emerging technologies to interact with and stimulate the user(s) perceptual systemsresulting in higher learning, performance, retention, and/or transfer Identify any negative effects of augmentation technologies along with tools/methods to ameliorate anynegative effects Examine return on investment (ROI) to deploy any promising augmentation technologies identified


Characteristics and examples of existing technologies (state of practice and emerging technologies): o environments: analysis of the suitability of augmented and mixed reality (as compared to live and virtual reality environments) to support a variety of task domains o augmentation technologies: evaluation of tools and methods to support interaction and stimulation of users through immersion and assisted cognition to improve learning, performance, retention, and transfer Techniques and approaches used to design and develop these technologies. Assessment of applicability of these techniques, approaches and technologies to national training needs. Applicability, value, and opportunities provided by these technologies for NATO training.

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