Voice command programs in the style of Apple’s Siri could soon be installed in the UK’s Royal Navy warships, according to Admiral Sir Philip Jones, who said the fleet is moving towards a “new era of maritime power”.
The senior officer told delegates of the Defence Security Event (DSE) in London that the next generation vessels will “shape the UK’s authority in the world”.
Speaking about the development of the Type 31e frigate, which will see a wave of £250m ships rolled out by 2023, Jones said it will feature new tools and apps.
“What this means in practice is that the Type 31e will feature different app based tools which can access the ship’s data. These will be operated from a series of touchscreen displays, Siri-style voice controlled assistants and perhaps even augmented reality technology,” he said.
“This is not a gimmick or a fad. As modern warfare becomes ever faster, and ever more data driven, our greatest asset will be the ability to cut through the deluge of information to think and act decisively,” Jones added.
Jones, who was promoted to the position of First Sea Lord last year, said the UK Navy would be working on how to “develop a ship’s ‘mind’” for use in fast changing situations.
“The Royal Navy must work closely with SMEs and start-ups. We need to tap into their entrepreneurial expertise and, in return, we can help give them the big break they need to succeed,” he said.
The navy estimates it will spend at least £63 billion over the next ten years in an effort to beef up its maritime force.