Air Force recruiters debut 'augmented reality' mobile tour

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The U.S. Air Force's newest mobile marketing tour, "Command Center Alpha," was unveiled April 22 at the Suwannee River Jam in Live Oak, Fla.

Command Center Alpha is a first-of-its-kind augmented reality mobile tour experience that immerses visitors in the "sci-fi" world of the U.S. Air Force. The interactive tour includes 3-D computer graphics, videos, educational kiosks, digital downloads and a full-size F-16 Thunderbird display.

Augmented reality is an interactive experience where virtual components are dynamically merged into a live video stream in real-time. Visitors use handheld devices, which, when placed on triggers located throughout the exhibit, let them experience augmented reality in the form of 3-D animations and video.

"We are excited to be using this new form of technology to inspire and educate the American public about the United States Air Force," said Col. Michael Tillema, Air Force Recruiting Service's Strategic Marketing and Communications Division chief. "Technology changes the way we fly, fight and win, and by using cutting-edge technology like augmented reality, the Command Center Alpha tour is able to illustrate the high-tech nature of the Air Force."

The mobile marketing tour is an extension of the Air Force's sci-fi advertising campaign. The ad campaign is geared toward demonstrating technology that was once thought to be science fiction is actually being employed by the Air Force today.  Command Center Alpha offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the variety of job opportunities the Air Force offers.

Command Center Alpha will be visiting the Indianapolis 500, Ocean City Air Show and the Country Music Association Music Festival this summer.