The US Army finally goes ahead with the program IVAS (Integrated Visual Augmentation Systema), which aims to equip its infantry soldiers with augmented reality helmets that increase their capabilities on the battlefield, after the good results of the tests carried out last June. According to Bloomberg, Douglas Bush, undersecretary for acquisitions, has “authorized the Army to begin accepting” the new technology, which will mean the acquisition of the first 5,000 IVAS combat goggles to Microsoft.
Although the device still has to pass its final test next October, Bush has indicated that “the Army is convinced that the initiative will be successful.” The United States plans to spend in the next decade $21.9 billion in the acquisition of combat goggles, some 121,000 units components and the necessary support for IVAS.
The Army had already decided to purchase of these first 5,000 units, for an amount of 373 million, in March of last year. Nevertheless, froze the decision months after emerging doubts about device performance and that it was decided to delay its delivery to improve the technology of the platform. Following the results of the new round of tests in June, the Army has once again given the green light to the operation. These took place over three weeks in which 70 soldiers used them in various training missions that included advancing towards the enemy, attack and defense.
IVAS combat goggles, a modified version of the HoloLens de Microsoft allow the soldier to receive orders and information which is projected on a transparent screen in front of your eyes, so you don’t have to take your eyes off your surroundings, and include night vision among other features. During the development of the IVAS program, which began in 2018, capabilities of target identification and acquisition as well as temperature and light sensors.
Microsoft HoloLens are a communication device mixed realitywith capabilities for both augmented and virtual reality, whose consumer version can be purchased from 3.849 euros and has a variant for use in regulated environments, such as clean rooms and hazardous locations, which Microsoft sells for 5.049 euros unit. The first generation of the device was released in 2016 and its successor, HoloLens 2 at the end of 2019.
Details about the custom version for the US Army, beyond being a device ruggerizado, and therefore prepared to withstand extreme conditions of use such as those of a combat or a mission under inclement weather, and that it can integrate easily with the soldier’s helmet have not been disclosed.
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.