Or, maybe they're Mass Effect-ified. But the U.S. Army's concept for a soldier in the year 2030 definitely looks video game-ified - especially with its strength-enhancing exoskeleton and ... combat drugs? Maybe it's Helghast-ified?

The "Future Soldier 2030" being planned at the Army's Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., is the subject of much oohing-and-ahhhing in today's New York Post. The basis of tomorrow's fighter is a "soldier as a system," philosophy that more or less regards soldiers as battlefield assets like tanks or planes.

Some of this "system's" features include a HUD inside the helmet; voice commands that unlock a weapon or set it to less-than-lethal force, a powered exoskeleton to increase a soldier's movement endurance and even "neural prosthetics" and "drugs that aid cognitive ability." The Army allows that those enhancements might be "controversial now, but perhaps ubiquitous in 2030."

I suppose it's only a natural evolution, the Army's designs somewhat trailing the epochal history of combat games; from flight sims to drone aircraft, FPSes to cyborg soldier.


Soldier of the Future [NY Post, and graphic; thanks randlsa]