BeBop Sensors selected to present its haptic Forte Data Glove as part of the AFWERX ‘Base of the Future’ challenge

In Virtual Reality News

September 4, 2020 – BeBop Sensors, a provider of wearable smart fabric sensor technology, has this week announced that the US Air Force’s AFWERX program has selected the company from over 1,500 submissions across the globe to present its proposal for deploying its ‘Forte Data Glove’ for every Airman, as part of the Air Force’s Base of the Future challenge.

BeBop Sensors is competing in the “Culture of Innovation” challenge category alongside a diverse group of teams that represent entrepreneurial startups, small businesses, large enterprises, academic institutions and research labs all vying to build the Base of the Future and modernize the Department of Defense with innovative technology.

The category aims to strengthen and perpetuate a culture of innovation within the US Air Force by improving workforce agility and breaking down barriers to change. According to BeBop Sensors, currently, the adoption of new technology is slow and presents a significant challenge for the Air Force. The challenge therefore looks to create new ways to increase community engagement among Airmen and develop education and training that supports enterprise-wide team development.

“The AFWERX Base of the Future challenge is critical to our mission of increasing collaboration between large businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate solutions for the Air Force,” stated Mark Rowland of AFWERX. “On behalf of AFWERX and the Department of Defense, we congratulate the teams advancing to the next phase. Their contributions are invaluable and have the potential to create game-changing results across the Air Force enterprise.”

BeBop states that its vision is to enable Airmen to use gestures with haptic feedback via the company’s Forte Data Gloves, in order to accelerate and improve training and virtual collaboration while making its solution rugged, weatherproof, and suitable for use in the field. BeBop’s solutioned is aimed at enabling:

  • Training – design, delivery, and assessment leading to learning retention levels upwards to 90%;
  • Open and collaborative workspaces with touch and feel in large XR workspaces;
  • Data visualization and haptic interaction in 3D space;
  • Exploring new communications – gesture-to-speech, haptic communication, and allowing for remote control of robotics and UxV’s;
  • Reimagining the HMI (human machine interface) to improve situational awareness on the battlefield and reduce the cognitive load on the Airman;
  • Reducing injuries with telerobotic control of devices in hazardous conditions such as ordinance handling/control.

“We are honored to be selected as part of AFWERX’s Base of the Future challenge”, said Keith McMillen, CEO at BeBop Sensors. “We aim to transform the way Airmen learn in the classroom and seamlessly transition to the battlefield with the BeBop Forte Data gloves. We are creating next-generation training tools that are immersive, safe, and provide our troops with a technological advantage in the future.”

BeBop Sensors states that it has shipped over four million wearable smart fabric sensors to date. For more information on its sensor technology, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: AFWERX

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.