Lab Technologies Highlighted at Army All-American Bowl

January 26, 2010

The Army Research Laboratory's Capt. Scott Shaffer (left) shows Maj. Mike Baker the "Phraselator," a hand-held language translation device during a technology demonstration in San Antonio Jan. 7. The Army Research Laboratory's Capt. Scott Shaffer (left) shows Maj. Mike Baker the "Phraselator," a hand-held language translation device during a technology demonstration in San Antonio Jan. 7.

Thousands of veterans, students and San Antonio community members were introduced to Army technologies as well as an action-packed football game at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 9.

The bowl game featured the nation's top high school football players and is one of the Army's largest recruiting efforts throughout the year.

Among the other Research, Development and Engineering Command scientific initiatives, ARL showcased cutting-edge electronics, including flexible displays, mobile weather devices and the Phraselator, at the Army Strong Zone exhibit and at area schools.

"(The attendees) got a better understanding of the Army," said ARL's Sgt. Maj. Timothy Weatherspoon, who worked as the "Zone Ambassador" during the event. "They got a different perspective than just combat operations."

Dr. Eric Forsythe explains ARL's flexible display research to Dr. Marilyn M. Freeman, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center director during the Army's All-American Bowl game in San Antonio. Dr. Eric Forsythe explains ARL's flexible display research to Dr. Marilyn M. Freeman, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center director during the Army's All-American Bowl game in San Antonio.

Many of the attendees were children and their parents, who were wowed by some of the capabilities ARL and RDECOM highlighted, including ruggedizing displays for Soldiers in the field, said Weatherspoon.

"The flexible displays got a lot of attention from them," added Weatherspoon.

ARL meteorologist Dave Sauter explains a handheld mobile weather device technology that could provide critical weather and heat stress intelligence to Maj. Gen Nickolas G. Justice, Research, Development and Engineering Command commander, at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. ARL meteorologist Dave Sauter explains a handheld mobile weather device technology that could provide critical weather and heat stress intelligence to Maj. Gen Nickolas G. Justice, Research, Development and Engineering Command commander, at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

The kids and their families weren't the only ones who were interested in the technologies ARL is researching. Soldiers were curious to learn about what could actually be in their hands to use in combat zones.

The Phraselator, which translates spoken languages into English, was already fielded but is going through testing and upgrades for improvement at ARL. Although having the ability to help Soldiers communicate, the revolutionary device is used to supplement person-to-person speech.

"Soldiers can use this while working alongside translators," said ARL's Capt. Scott Shaffer.

Along with communication barriers, weather can also adversely impact Soldiers' abilities to perform their duties in theater.

Mobile weather technology using a hand-held PDA showcased at the event not only will help Soldiers with the weather, but it will also help them avoid heat injuries. The Mobile Heat Stress Decision Aid will soon be tested and evaluated with an Army unit and is expected to be fielded shortly afterward.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: January 26, 2010