Army stops multi-billion dollar advanced augmented reality glasses program (updated)

However, it was the augmented reality features of IVAS that were to be truly revolutionary for soldiers, as you can read more about here. Helmets can provide a wealth of information to individual troops, such as waypoints and other navigation symbols, in the same way that helmet-mounted displays do for pilots flying many types of aircraft. modern combat.

Additionally, networked systems can transmit video streams and other sensor data from a variety of external sources. Different sensor power supplies could then be merged to provide a more accurate view of the battlespace. Soldiers in the same unit could share what they see directly with each other, as well as with others further afield.

Artificial intelligence-based software could also help automatically detect and identify potential threats. Prototype versions of IVAS would already have had some facial recognition capability.

IVAS headsets have also been configured to provide valuable training capabilities, including the ability to help virtually simulate a wide range of threats during live exercises. This, in turn, would give even relatively small facilities the opportunity to conduct more realistic and larger exercises without any additional resources.

However, early prototypes of IVAS systems were simply not rugged enough for operational use, with one iteration notably unable to operate in the rain. The military carried out more rigorous testing of the latest version, with what it had reported to be positive results. Soldiers also experimented with the use of IVAS helmets in vehicles and during airmobile operations.

Questions have also been raised about the compliant batteries soldiers must carry in their equipment to power IVAS helmets, both in terms of how long they can keep systems running and safety concerns regarding what could happen if they are shot or damaged in any way. fight. The military has said in the past that it has made progress in improving the capabilities of batteries and their resistance to incoming fire.

It is certainly possible that despite the progress made in these areas, the Army has always determined that the IVAS is not yet ready for widespread commissioning. At the same time, the issues that at least temporarily caused the service to shut down the project may also be completely unrelated to any of those previously known issues.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft employees have protested in the past against the company’s development of a version of HoloLens for the US military. However, there is no indication, one way or another, that this was a factor in the recent break in the IVAS program.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the military is already putting into service Enhanced Night Vision Binoculars (ENVG-B), which it says offers advanced night vision, thermal imaging and fusion capabilities. networked sensors. The service has also indicated in the past that it wants to add more robust augmented reality features to the ENVG-B. You can read more about these glasses here.

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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