Congress has reportedly rejected the US military’s request for $400 million to purchase additional Microsoft mixed reality headsets, instead realigning funding to develop new models that will fix problems with current devices.
The military is receiving about a tenth of that sum to improve the system after concerns were raised over field testing of the glasses, which are based on Microsoft’s HoloLens technology, Bloomberg reported.
Tests using the devices revealed “mission-affecting physical disabilities” including headaches, eyestrain and nausea, the outlet reported, citing a summary of an exercise from the Pentagon’s testing office.
The $400 million request was included in the government’s $1.75 trillion funding bill, according to Bloomberg.
ACTIVATE THIS GMAIL SECURITY FEATURE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
In a Jan. 5 statement, the military said it had awarded an order to Microsoft to develop the 1.2 variant of the helmets, or Integrated Visual Augmentation Systems.
The task order, he said, would provide improvements based on completed test events.
“The IVAS will provide soldiers with a single device to fight, rehearse and train by integrating next-generation situational awareness tools,” the military said. “To date, the Army has conducted over 30 soldier testing events and over 100 technical subtests, with over 1,000 soldiers contributing nearly 100,000 hours of IVAS user feedback. These tests have validated continuous progress of the system while identifying areas requiring targeted improvements.”
The updated version will include a new form factor to address human systems integration, including physiological impacts identified during testing, as well as software enhancements for increased reliability and reduced power demands.
Delivery orders for IVAS 1.2 production systems will be placed after qualification and operational testing.
UFO SIGHTINGS HAVE INCREASED IN LAST TWO YEARS, US INTEL REPORT SAYS
According to Bloomberg, the military gave Microsoft about $125 million to develop the 1.2 variant, in addition to the tens of millions approved by Congress.
Microsoft said in a post that the headsets were part of a larger effort to modernize US military operations.
In 2018, Microsoft won a $480 million contract from the military to develop a mixed reality headset to “help soldiers train, rehearse, and fight,” with IVAS being developed as part of an arrangement known as Alternate Transaction Authority.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“The arrangement allowed IVAS to be developed in less than three years, much faster than a traditional project of this type,” he said.