US Army IVAS testing - Main 1

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The US Army is almost ready to begin testing IVAS under operational conditions

Quick read

➨ IVAS is now being deployed among aircrews and paratroopers in Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters
➨ The US Army ordered more than 120,000 of the custom HoloLens 2 headsets from Microsoft at a cost of $21.9 billion
➨ Operational testing of the headset reportedly begins later this month

The story

The US Army is taking its augmented reality headset to the skies.

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), initially tested for soldiers on foot and then during transport in ground combat vehicles such as the Bradley tank, is now being deployed among aircrews and paratroopers in Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, according to Defence Blog.

IVAS consists of a head-mounted display that connects to a small computer and radio. It boasts night vision and can show a soldier battlefield information about the location of enemy combatants and their own unit.

The headset also highlights targets, uses facial recognition software to identify others, translates various languages into English, and allows soldiers to share digital information, including map coordinates and imagery of what’s happening on the battlefield.

The US Army, which has ordered more than 120,000 of the custom HoloLens 2 headsets from Microsoft at a cost of $21.9 billion, describes IVAS as a next-generation tool and single platform to fight, rehearse and train.

Initial tests focused on soldiers on foot. The US Army then developed a capability for soldiers to maintain situational awareness using IVAS during transport.

The next step, operational tests with paratroopers, began in May, according to Defence Blog.

Tens of thousands of hours have so far been invested in user studies, field testing, feedback and assessments, culminating in a ‘user jury’ on 12 July that evaluated the latest version of IVAS ahead of operational testing later this month.

US Army IVAS testing - IVAS test
Tens of thousands of hours have so far been invested in user studies, field testing, feedback and assessments

According to Janes, the form factor of the headset is settled. The US Army is now focusing on ensuring that the software meets its requirements.

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Images: US Army

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