Microsoft HoloLens for the US Army: what are the augmented reality glasses that soldiers fear

Microsoft HoloLens for the US Army: what are the augmented reality glasses that soldiers fear

Soldiers who tested Microsoft HoloLens reported suffering from migraines, eyestrain and the urge to vomit, fearing they might not be safe on the battlefield.

Leaked reports to the press revealed that US Army soldiers are afraid to use Microsoft HoloLens on the battlefield because in some cases they can cause dizziness and the urge to vomit.

According to Insider and Bloomberg, which had access to the reports, the soldiers also experienced migraines, eyestrain and what they called “physical deficiencies” that could affect the mission.

The report details that approximately 80% of the soldiers presented some type of symptom after using the lenses for a period of less than three hours. Faced with this situation, some soldiers expressed their fear of having to use this type of technology on the ground in a real mission.

Some even went so far as to express that if they had to use them, it is very likely that the enemy could kill them. This information is alarming considering that the Army signed a contract with Microsoft for $22,000 million dollars for the use of this type of device.

Added to this is the fact that the bright lights of the lenses are visible for hundreds of meters, which would allow the enemy not only to detect the soldiers, but also to locate them precisely, allowing them to become easy targets. For all these reasons, the acceptance of Microsoft’s augmented reality glasses was particularly low among soldiers.

From Microsoft they indicated that after knowing these failures they took the necessary measures to modify the lenses and thus solve this problem.

“Our close collaboration with the Army has allowed us to rapidly build and iterate on the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) to develop a transformative platform that will deliver greater safety and effectiveness to soldiers,” said a spokesperson for Microsoft.

Microsoft also reported that they are already advancing in the production of the first batch of HoloLens for the Army, which suggests that the agreement remains in place despite the rejection of the soldiers who are the ones who will ultimately use them when they are deployed.

The agreement between the Army and Microsoft contemplates the delivery of a total of 120,000 HoloLens over a period of 10 years. Remember that this device was designed specifically for the US Army and is supposed to be able to provide soldiers with a digital map, a compass, thermal imaging and tools to improve their aim.

An audit conducted earlier this year by the Defense Department’s Inspector General noted that the contract could result in the Army ending up “wasting taxpayer money.”

The reports revealed by Insider and Bloomberg also showed that this situation is known to Microsoft, so they are aware of the possibility that the Army decides to cancel the contract due to the bad impression that the devices have generated.

Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.