Microsoft’s custom HoloLens left US soldiers with nausea, headaches in test

Microsoft’s own HoloLens gave US soldiers nausea and headaches in a test

US soldiers using Microsoft Corp’s new glasses in their latest field test suffered from “mission-impacting physical impairments,” including headaches, eye strain and nausea, according to a summary of the exercise compiled by the Pentagon’s testing office.

More than 80% of those who experienced discomfort had symptoms after less than three hours of using a customized version of Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses, Nickolas Guertin, director of Operation Test and Evaluation, said in a briefing for Defense and Army officials. He said the system also continues to experience too many failures of basic functions.

Problems found in testing in May and June were outlined in a 79-page report this month. The military classified it as “controlled unclassified information” to prevent public release, but Bloomberg News obtained a summary.

Despite the device’s shortcomings, Guertin doesn’t consider it a lost cause. He recommended that the military “prioritize improvement” over large-scale deployment to reduce “physical discomfort to users”. He said there is also a need to improve the glasses’ low-light sensors, display clarity, field of view and low reliability of some basic functions.

On the plus side: The latest model’s reliability has improved for a key metric — the mean time between failures that render the entire system inoperable, according to the report. Leaders and soldiers also said the latest version “improved navigation and coordination of unit movements,” Guertin wrote.

Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, is expected to provide U.S. ground forces with a “heads-up display” similar to those for fighter pilots. It would allow commanders to project information on a visor in front of a soldier’s face and include features such as night vision. The military plans to spend up to $21.9 billion over ten years on eyewear, spare parts and support services if all options are pursued.

The test results will be carefully considered by lawmakers in deciding whether to approve the $424.2 million the military has proposed to spend on the program this fiscal year. Appropriations panels in the House and Senate have separately proposed deep cuts at the military’s request until the results of the testing are known.

One finding that may give members of Congress pause: Soldier adoption of the glasses “remains low,” and they and their leaders said they “do not contribute to their ability to complete their mission.” The exercise represented the fifth test of the “Soldier Touch point” system, a widely praised Army initiative to get feedback from Soldiers early in the acquisition process.

Microsoft, which did not receive a copy of the test results, said in a statement that “our close collaboration with the military allowed us to quickly build” and modify the device “to develop a transformative platform that will ensure increased soldier safety and effectiveness.” We continue to manufacture and supply “starter kits” of equipment.

Doug Bush, the Army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, said in a statement that the service has “conducted a thorough operational assessment” and is “fully aware” of the test office’s concerns. The Army is adjusting the program’s deployment and schedule “to allow time to develop solutions to identified problems,” he said.

He said the military believes the finding that the glasses cause “physical harm” overstates the problem, but is seeking “significant improvements to address Soldiers’ concerns about comfort and fit.”

In August, Bush authorized the military to begin receiving some of the first 5,000 sets of glasses produced, but delayed, saying the service was “adjusting its deployment plan to allow time to correct deficiencies and also provide a field for troops to focus on training.” activities.”

Asked why the military ordered the testing office to mark the report as “controlled unclassified information,” Bush said the service “followed the appropriate DoD classification guidelines.”


I am Sanjit Gupta. I have completed my BMS then MMS both in marketing. I even did a diploma in computer software and Digital Marketing.

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