Microsoft, one of the largest technology companies in the world, has won a 10-year contract to build advanced augmented reality systems for the US Army. The contract could be worth up to $21.88 billion over 10 years that it will involve Microsoft supplying 120,000 HoloLens-based headsets.
The IVAS (Integrated Visual Augmentation System) program launched in recent years is therefore ready to move from the prototyping phase to the actual production phase to quickly supply the devices to be used in the field.
The IVAS headset is based on the second generation of HoloLens and augmented by Microsoft Azure cloud services. It delivers a platform that will keep Soldiers safer and make them more effective.
The IVAS aggregates multiple technologies into an architecture that allows the Soldier to Fight, Rehearse, and Train using a single platform. The suite of capabilities leverages existing high-resolution night, thermal, and Soldier-borne sensors integrated into a unified Heads Up Display to provide improved situational awareness, target engagement and informed decision-making in a variety of scenarios.
The system also leverages augmented reality and machine learning to enable a life-like mixed reality training environment so the Close Combat Force can rehearse before engaging any adversaries.
The software maker has been working closely with the Army since 2018 and pioneered Soldier Centered Design to enable rapid prototyping for a product to provide Soldiers with the tools and capabilities necessary to achieve their mission. Soldiers have been testing the IVAS headsets over the past two years.