Microsoft Xbox Controllers will be taking the term universal to another level. The US Navy will now be using the popular peripheral to control periscopes on their submarines.
The Pentagon will begin stocking their Virginia-class submarines with the controllers, the USS Colorado which is expected to be commissioned in November will be the first to rollout with them. Gone are the days where only one sailor at a time peered through the eyepiece of the telescope as multiple sailors onboard will now use XBOX controllers to maneuver them.
This news might be unwelcoming to defense contractor Lockheed Martin, they already designed a $38,000 joystick and control panel. Sailors found the system to be heavy and clunky, it also took hours to train the sailors how to use it.
The Navy got together and asked how they could make life easier for Junior Officers on subs? Lt. j.g. Kyle Leonard says “And one of the things that came out is the controls for the scope. It’s kind of clunky in your hand; it’s real heavy.”
Lockheed and the Navy got together to find a cheaper, off-the-shelf technology to take advantage of for today’s sailors utilizing skills they have grown up with. The Xbox controller only costs about $30 bucks and the sailors got used to it within minutes instead of hours.
So it looks like all of those hours you logged in playing Call of Duty or Battlefield isn’t such a waste time after all.
The Navy doesn’t plan on stopping at just using XBOX controllers as the plan on incorporating iPads, touch screens and virtual environments according to Eichenlaub. The future is real indeed.
Looks like you will be literally pressing a video game controller button to call in the air strike or care package in the near future if you join the military.