The googles used what is called the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), which allows soldiers to see through smoke and around corners, use holographic imagery for training and have 3D terrain maps projected onto their field of vision at the click of a button.
More than 80 percent of those who experienced discomfort showed symptoms after less than three hours of using the customized HoloLens goggles, according to Operation Test and Evaluation Director Nickolas Guertin.
Guertin said the system has shown too many failures of essential functions. The problems found in the testing held in May and June were outlined in a 79-page report this month, which the Army marked as "Controlled Unclassified Information" to prevent public distribution.
Despite the device's flaws, however, Guertin does not think it's a lost cause. Instead, he recommended that the Army prioritize improvements before widespread deployment to reduce the physical discomfort of users. He also said improvements are necessary for the goggle's low-light sensors, display clarity, the field of vision and reliability of some essential functions.
There are also positive reviews on the product, with soldiers reporting that it "enhanced navigation and coordination of unit movements."
Microsoft is expected to incorporate high-resolution night vision, as well as thermal and soldier-borne sensors to increase situational awareness and target engagement. If all options for this model are exercised, the Army is projected to spend as much as $21.9 billion over a decade on the goggles, spare parts and support services.
The test results will have to be assessed by lawmakers as they decide whether or not to approve $424.2 million that the Army proposed to spend on the program this fiscal year. The House and Senate appropriations panels also separately proposed deep cuts to the Army's request, pending the testing outcome.
One major factor that may keep Congress from approving the product is its low level of acceptance among soldiers. These soldiers and their leaders have indicated that the new goggles don't "contribute to their ability to complete their mission." (Related: Researchers commandeer military drones to prove how easy hi-tech hijacking can be.)
This part of the exercise represented the fifth "Soldier Touch Point" test of the system.
Microsoft so far wasn't given a copy of the test results, although the company stated that its "close collaboration with the Army" has enabled it to quickly build and modify the devices to "develop a transformational platform that will deliver enhanced soldier safety and effectiveness."
The company said they are still moving forward with the production and delivery of the initial set of devices.
Doug Bush, the Army's assistant secretary for acquisition, said in a statement that the service conducted a thorough operational evaluation and is fully aware of the concerns of the testing office. The Army is now said to be adjusting the program's fielding and schedule to "allow time to develop solutions to the issues identified."
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Watch the video below about 6G-powered mixed-reality goggles made by China.
This video is from the PureTrauma357 channel on Brighteon.com.