The US Army is adjusting its expectations of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) combat goggles, which are said to “transform how soldiers see the battlefield” by overcoming some of the limitations of human vision.
Despite being regarded as a cutting-edge military technology, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth admitted that the first IVAS goggles may not be as streamlined as the service wants.
“Remember early satellite phones from the 1980s that wealthy people had in their cars? They were big and clunky and now we have iPhones,” the secretary explained during an event for the Center for a New American Security. “It took us some time to get there.”
Wormuth said that the first iteration is the “alpha version.” With continued development, the technology will reach its full potential.
A Year’s Delay
In October 2021, the US Army announced that operational tests and fielding of the IVAS goggles had been pushed back to 2022.
The service said that it remains committed to its $22 billion partnership with Microsoft to advance specific technologies and meet operational requirements.
The decision to delay the initial iteration of the state-of-the-art platform would allow the army to continue enhancing the IVAS technology for improved performance in multi-domain operations.
Despite the delay, Wormuth remarked that the program is “alive and well” and expressed her eagerness to see the results of IVAS development.
“The challenge we’re facing right now is a little bit in the visualization of the headset and the resolution quality of the imaging,” she stressed. “Microsoft has been working very closely with us and I think it’s very committed to seeing if we can work through these problems.”
#PressRelease: IVAS OT Decision Public Statement — The Army decided to shift the IVAS Operational Test and fielding to a date later in FY22. #IVAS #technology #innovation | @USArmy pic.twitter.com/jsL5IsLoUh
— PEO Soldier (@PEOSoldier) October 14, 2021