US Navy submarines are getting Xbox 360 controllers to control their periscopes


US Navy submarines are getting Xbox 360 controllers to control their periscopes

You're probably familiar with using your Xbox Controller to play Call of Duty or Forza in your living room, but the government has come up with another (much cooler) use for the device. The pericope of this high-tech submarine will be maneuvered using the Xbox controller by its sailors.

Instead of having the traditional tubes that only one person can see through, the submarines have two photonics masts with cameras that rotate 360 degrees. The Xbox controllers will later be added to other Virginia-class submarines.

The Navy got together and they asked a bunch of J.O.s and junior guys, 'What can we do to make your life better?

The Pentagon may become one of the biggest buyers of Xbox controllers soon because in the future the U.S. military wants to use them to control its laser weapons and other equipment. These periscopes have previously been controlled with a custom joystick that sets the Navy back some $38,000 a pop and require rigorous training to use. "It's kind of clunky in your hand; it's real heavy".

Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub, who is the USS John Warner's assistant navigator, told the Pilot the lower price tag for hardware is an added upside to the change.

It makes sense that various military organisation would want to tap into the skills gamers have developed, but we can't help wonder why the US Navy went for Xbox 360 controllers and not Xbox One or even the equally capable PlayStation 4 controllers.

After extensive testing, the controller-based system will make its debut with the USS Colorado, meant to be commissioned by November 2017.