We heard earlier this week that Microsoft won a contract to deliver up to 120,000 military-adapted HoloLens augmented reality headsets worth as much as $21.88 billion over 10 years following a successful $480 million trial of the IVAS Integrated Visual Augmented System HoloLens 2 prototype.
Now UploadVR has some more information about both the IVAS program and the new upgraded IVAS headset.
While the trial must have been successful, UploadVR says it did reveal some issues, such as the hardware not being rugged enough for military use, and problems with the sensors at night.
The upgraded unit (pictured) is now significantly more rugged and has many more sensors.
The new IVAS reportedly has one major upgrade over the regular HoloLens 2 – a much wider field of view.
According to UploadVR the new IVAS will have a ground-breaking 80-degree x 40-degree field of view, much larger than the tiny 43-degree x 29-degree view of the HoloLens 2.
The army hopes the new headset can make all the sci-fi fantasies of future soldiers come true, including:
- overlaying icons on friendly units, objectives, threats, and points of interest
- built-in night vision & thermal view modes
- live picture-in-picture feeds from drones, including the Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS) personal drone
- simulated weapons & enemies for training exercises
- scanning nearby people for high temperature (COVID-19)
- facial recognition for hostage rescue situations
- Integration with vehicle cameras, so those inside a troop carrier will be able to see through the armoured walls and see what is waiting for them outside a vehicle before they get out.
While a more than $20 billion value for the contract has been mooted by Microsoft, UploadVR notes that this is the maximum value of the contract, and the number of headsets ordered will ultimately depend on further trials and future budgets.