QUEST Visits Booz Allen Hamilton’s Innovation Center in DC
Does your workspace have robots, an augmented reality (AR) system designed to help aerospace engineers, or non-hackable security systems? Sadly, mine does not, but Booz Allen Hamilton’s offices do!
On Monday, February 12th, QUEST students were invited to tour the Booz Allen office located in the heart of DC. Walking into the workspace, it looked like we were entering an urban tech hub. The workspace was HUGE and very interactive. Some rooms were set up so you could write on everything, the walls, tables, floors, etc. However, the majority of Booz Allen looked like one big room that allows for different consulting teams to collaborate and talk with one-another, maintaining a very fun but productive environment.
So, what do they actually do at Booz Allen? Before I toured the office, I thought Booz Allen was just another consulting firm. Wow, was I wrong! While it is consulting, Booz Allen uses the newest innovative technology to help with everyday problems. For example, how do you train a military soldier to stay composed while approaching a battle, a navy sailor to know what it’s like underwater in a submarine, or an airman in the Airforce to remain calm when jumping out of a plane? Using a Virtual Reality (VR) system, Booz Allen has constructed software that allows people to know exactly what it feels like to perform these tasks. In addition, by adding sensors that stimulate other senses such as smell and touch, Booz Allen has constructed a way to trick the brain into thinking that the experience is real.
Have you ever felt sound? Soon enough, you may! Booz Allen has created a device that allows you to operate different devices by hovering your hand over a panel vibrating from sound. Imagine, instead of all those buttons on the dashboard of your car, there was just one panel. This panel, operated using sound, would allow you to control the heat, sound system, or even make a phone call!
At Booz Allen, I really learned that the future is not as far as we may think. Written on the wall of Booz Allen is a quote from Abraham Lincoln – very fitting for an office located in the heart of DC – and it says that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” At Booz Allen, the technologies of the future are only days away.
Thanks to our Booz Allen alumni, Nicole Lach (Q22), Danny Laurence (Q19), Eric Hamel (Q19), and Andie Rauta (Q14), for hosting us and to the QUEST Corporate student committee for setting this up!