Following a prototyping phase started in 2019, Microsoft and the United States Army have announced they are moving to a production phase of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), based on HoloLens 2 technology, through a contract worth up to $22 billion.

In 2019, Microsoft announced it was working with the US Army to prototype and test the IVAS system, an AR headset designed for both training and live battlefield use, based on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 technology.

Image courtesy Microsoft

What started as a $480 million deal has now ballooned into a contract worth up to $21.88 billion, according to Microsoft, with an initial five year timeline and an option for an additional five years.

The US Army announced the contract last week as a “fixed price production agreement to manufacture the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS)” aimed at moving the project into a “production and rapid fielding” phase.

According to the US Army, the IVAS system is designed to streamline existing vision-enhancing and immersive training capabilities into 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 the improved situational awareness, target engagement, and informed decision-making necessary to achieve overmatch against current and future adversaries,” the US Army writes. “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.”

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Both Microsoft and the US Army paint the IVAS project as a “non-traditional” collaboration between the Army and a technology company, rather than a defense contractor. The organizations claim the direct collaboration has significantly increased the speed of development for the project.

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  • Alex

    What have they been doing 2 years now if it’s a brand new contract that aspires to this?
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/06/microsoft-hololens-2-army-plans-to-customize-as-ivas.html
    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a30898514/mixed-reality-goggles-army/
    It’s like they come back with the same intent and new contracts every year or something.

    • dk

      there was one previous contract for 480 million …and now there is a different one …not sure what u mean

  • jimmy

    Nothing surprising Hololens is a professional headset

  • wheeler

    From listening to Karl Guttag https://kguttag.com/2021/03/30/ar-show-interview-of-karl-guttag-part-2-mapping-ar-displays-to-suitable-optics/ , it sounds like the use of these on the battlefield is quite silly and that side of the investment will be a complete waste. Tons of stuff like this apparently gets purchased for military use but never leaves the box because soldiers refuse to use anything that will inhibit their performance and, well, get them killed. However for training it sounds like the hololens can be useful.

    • Martha Guy

      Get $193 per h from Google!…~a1434~ Yes this can be best since I simply got my initial payroll check of $24413 and this was just of one week…I am aslo purchased my Mclaren P1 right after this payment…~a1434~ it is really best job I have even had and you will not for~give yourself if you not check it >>>> https://zilo.app/rWUqs ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    • Ad

      Hopefully they all just rot in boxes.

      • Joanna Long

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  • JDawg

    Video games have always had a HUD. Now real war will have a HUD.

    I can imagine some good uses of this. Imagine it counting the number of bullets left in your gun’s magazine. Or displaying night vision over-layed on the AR glasses keeping the real word still there. GPS and other info and location on teammates through walls reducing friendly fire. Squadmates could easily digitally mark enemy locations that are instantly relayed to everyone. Real time mission updates and area map top down view. Quickly throw up video of what teammate or quad-copter drone sees. Hands free voice control so you can keep your hands on your gun. The possibilities are awesome.

    Very cool stuff.

    • Ad

      It’s like a game but better because real people die.

  • xyzs

    The price of a Ferrari per headset…. If I was American, I would loose my sh*t about how my tax money is literally wasted.

    • Mrfox Babbit

      Hate to burst your bubble but EVERY govt is a feeding trough of waste.

      • Jonathan Winters III

        Having worked for 2 different governments, I can attest to that.

    • Frozenbizkit

      Freedom isn’t free :P

    • BossFX

      I think its only 25-30k per headset.

    • kristofe868

      Google officially is currently paying an incredible installment of 179/hour and best thing is every week pay-out…….3247434 No uncommon specifications old enough constraint or specific PC aptitudes with the goal that you may attempt too. You can check your qualification through this.

      https://bit.ly/3ulu23Y?/teps3247434

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  • Ad

    This is just pathetic. War profiteering with fringe mediocre AR tech. They found the only worse way to approach this technology than data harvesting and advertising.

    “to provide the improved situational awareness, target engagement, and informed decision-making necessary”

    So it’ll point out all the civilians who are too jittery during your occupation, or look for brown faces to shoot at?

    I can assume this is 50% stupidity and corruption (“fixed price production agreement”) but it’s still disgusting.

    • JustNiz

      Those jittery civilians are the same guys that are mining the road
      with IUDs every night and launching rocket attacks into US bases. I’m pretty sure the US military aren’t racist. They’re happy to shoot at anyone, not just people with brown faces.

      • Ad

        When people want you yo leave their countries, first step is to send more troops and stop asking why you’re fighting the war.

      • Warscent

        I’ve tried this and it’s very different than Hololens in many ways. Despite the obvious hud advantages of navigation and comms, this thing also implements night vision , thermal vision, and the ability to see around corners with drones and rifle scopes . Game changer .

  • Ad

    Microsoft workers protested a similar deal in the past but this industry is worthless so it just escalated: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna974761

  • Bob

    “However, what happens when incoming small arms rounds hits the headset?”

    Hopefully they’re virtual bullets ;)

  • Arthur
  • johnyjazz

    Wasn’t there a Black Mirror episode about this?

    • Svenjamin d’Turgess

      There was. And like many Black Mirror episodes, they seem to have been seen as more instructive than cautionary.

  • JustNiz

    I feel like some overpriced government contract was what Microsoft was after all along with Hololens.

  • DanDei

    America, the country that doesn’t have money to keep its own people healthy but spends 22 billion on another ridiculous war toy. What a dump of a nation

    • Warscent

      What a dump of a comment.

  • It is a contract of enormous value… I guess this will make all stats about the XR market to skyrocket