Microsoft  Receives More Funding to Improve Military-Grade Goggles

Army places a new order for goggles based on HoloLens device

Microsoft Corp.’s improved combat goggles have passed their first round of intensive testing by soldiers, and the tech giant has been awarded an order for another batch to be used for a make-or-break combat evaluation in 2025, according to a US Army spokesman.

Initial Version Rejected Due to Physical Strain

The first 20 prototype IVAS 1.2 goggles were delivered in late July and assessed by two squads of solders in late August to check for improvements in reliability, low-light performance and how well they fit without repeats of the nausea and dizziness that halted the deployment of earlier versions.

On January 12, Congress rejected the Army’s request for $400 million in funding. It was recorded that an additional 6,900 HoloLens 2 were purchased. “The reason for the rejection was that in a recent field test, more than 80 percent of participating soldiers complained of ‘mission-impairing physical strain’ such as headaches, eye strain and nausea,” US media reported. It is reported.

The reason for rejecting additional funding is based on an evaluation of a test conducted in June 2022. The Army conducted operational testing of IVAS in a 72-hour combat scenario with 70 infantry soldiers. As a result, more than 80 percent of soldiers complained of “physical stress that interferes with mission performance” as a result of using HoloLens 2, such as headaches, eye strain and nausea. These psychosomatic symptoms appear to occur within 3 hours of wearing HoloLens 2.

More Funding to Improve Comfort

Since 2021, the U.S. Army and Microsoft have been researching and developing “Integrated Vision Augmentation Systems (IVAS)” that utilize MR Headsets. Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 is used in IVAS, but many soldiers have complained of poor performance in field tests.

As a result of this successful pilot, Microsoft has also received $165 million in funding, and is expected to receive an additional $76 million.

The new contract paves the way for rigorous testing in 2025The system is scheduled to be operational by 2025, and Army IVAS product manager said, “If we get the opportunity, we want to do battalion scale operational testing.”


Ivy Wu

Ivy Wu was a media reporter at btw media. She graduated from Korea University with a major in media and communication, and has rich experience in reporting and news writing.

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