$22 billion and futuristic glasses put Microsoft in the army

WASHINGTON, (BM) – An agreement has been reached to provide augmented reality military goggles for the U.S. military. Microsoft has reached an agreement with the Pentagon and will receive a contract worth $ 21,88 billion and a ten-year development and integration period.

Future is here - augmented reality goggles are entering service in the US military
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The futuristic goggles of Microsoft are under the program Integrated Visual Magnification System or IVAS. The program started nearly two years ago and should integrate many new technologies among the U.S. military in the coming years. So far, several prototypes have been presented in the program, which means that the United States is ready to move to the production of selected products.

“The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios,” said a press release issued by Program Executive Office-Soldier and Microsoft.

According to sources, Microsoft will also offer cloud services for its futuristic glasses, namely the benefits of Azure.

“Microsoft has worked closely with the U.S. Army over the past two years, and together we pioneered Soldier Centered Design to enable rapid prototyping for a product to provide Soldiers with the tools and capabilities necessary to achieve their mission,” says Microsoft.

What are Microsoft goggles?

Microsoft is offering a product that expects to become an integral part of military equipment, such as the assault rifle. The U.S. Army will use Microsoft goggles for training, exercises, and actual combat.

These are mixed reality goggles. They will have a navigation system, location information for friendly soldiers, face recognition, and avatars to participate in developing strategies. The goggles have the standard optical equipment – thermal, night, and day vision.

Military Training Simulator with the Use of VR Goggles
Photo credit: Wareable

2,5 kg is the weight of the prototype, but IVAS says the designers will eliminate this problem. Microsoft goggles will be able to record scripts and then review them. They will also be able to communicate with micro-drones, which will give the soldier a completely different view of the battlefield.

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According to preliminary characteristics, the army goggles will be included in various networks and cloud services and work under the Android system. They will be constantly synchronized in the Azure cloud service and will instantly process new data.

The Pentagon will order approximately 40,000 goggles

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the development of technology and prototype models of military goggles. This delay was not significant, which allowed Shield AI to test various 3D scanning functions on the product, such as the environment and buildings.

Various sensitive sensors have also been corrected, and some improvements in the product software – such as distance measurement.

The U.S. government initially plans to acquire about 40,000 military goggles. In addition to infantry, special forces soldiers also include in this number.

Feedback from the U.S. military is good about the upcoming acquisition. Michael Grinston, a senior sergeant in the U.S. military, said half the battle knew where the enemy was and what the rest of the crew would do.

The U.S. military had already conducted tests among its soldiers with prototype goggles in 2020. The tests were successful after infantry, special forces, and even firefighters took part in joint scenario operations. The training lasted about 72 hours.


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