Microsoft’s military version of their HoloLens headset, known as the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), faces a delay of at least two years. The U.S. Army asked the company to first fix issues that caused headaches, nausea, and eyestrain among soldiers. If the goggle passes its tests, the Army plans to field a version starting in July 2025.
Today, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft is on track to deliver an improved version of its HoloLens-based IVAS by July 31 for soldier testing. If the device doesn’t pass the testing, the U.S. Army might cancel the program all together.
Once Microsoft delivers IVAS 1.2 prototype goggles later this month, it will be assessed by two squads of solders in late August to check for improvements in reliability, low-light performance and other issues that were reported in the previous versions. It is important to note that Microsoft is delivering them three months ahead of schedule.
This IVAS 1.2 will feature a slimmer design to counterbalance front weight, reducing neck strain for soldiers. Its target weight is 2.85 pounds, equal to the currently fielded Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B). Improved features of the IVAS 1.2 include better eye relief, weapons compatibility, air flow, processing software, and a display that provides peripheral vision.
One of the major new features is the addition of color-coded navigation points and map-marking features, viewable in the goggle either in map format or in rotating compass headings. This will improve navigation and communication between soldiers. The updated IVAS will also offer enhanced training features, such as tracking goggle wearers through simulated shoot house scenarios and allowing instant replays of their moves and shots for review and improvement.
As the technology evolves, the IVAS promises to become an indispensable tool for soldiers, improving situational awareness, communication, navigation, and training. We will come to know about the results of IVAS 1.2 assessment in the coming months.