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Microsoft army goggles left US soldiers nausea and headache during test

US soldiers who used Microsoft’s new glasses in their latest field test suffered from “mission-influencing physical limitations”.

US soldiers wearing Microsoft Corp.’s new glasses. in their latest field test, suffered from “mission-influencing physical limitations,” including headaches, eyestrain and nausea, according to a summary of the exercise compiled by the Pentagon’s testing agency.

More than 80% of those who experienced discomfort had symptoms after less than three hours with the modified version of Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses, Nickolas Guertin, director of Operation Test and Evaluation, said in a summary for military and state officials. Defence. He said the system is also still experiencing too many failures of essential functions.

The issues found during testing in May and June were detailed this month in a 79-page report. The military marked it as “Controlled Unclassified Information” to prevent public dissemination, but Bloomberg News got a summary.

Despite the device’s flaws, Guertin does not consider it a lost cause. He advised the military to “prioritise improvements” before deploying it widely to reduce “users’ physical discomfort”. He said improvements are also needed to the glasses’ low-light sensors, screen brightness, field of view and poor reliability of some key features.

Positive: The reliability of the latest model has improved on a key metric: the average time between failures that render the entire system inoperable, the report said. Leaders and soldiers also reported that the latest version “improved navigation and coordination of unit movements,” Guertin wrote.

Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, is expected to provide a “heads-up display” for U.S. ground forces, similar to that used for fighter pilots. It would allow commanders to project information onto a sight in front of a soldier’s face and would include features such as night vision. If all options are exercised, the military will spend a whopping $21.9 billion on glasses, spare parts and support services over a 10-year period.

The test results will be scrutinized by lawmakers when they decide whether to approve the $424.2 million the military has proposed to spend on the program this fiscal year. The House and Senate credit committees separately proposed deep cuts to the military’s request pending the outcome of the tests.

A finding that may make members of Congress hesitate: Soldiers’ acceptance of the glasses “remains low” and they and their leaders said they are not “contributing to their ability to complete their mission.” The exercise represented the system’s fifth “Soldier Touch point” test, a widely acclaimed Army initiative to get feedback from soldiers early in the acquisition process.

Microsoft, which has not been given a copy of the test results, said in a statement that “our close collaboration with the military has enabled us to quickly build” and adapt the device “to develop a transformational platform that improved safety for soldiers and effectiveness.We proceed with the production and delivery of the first set of devices.

Doug Bush, the military’s deputy secretary for acquisitions, said in a statement that the agency has “conducted a thorough operational review” and is “fully aware” of the testing agency’s concerns. The military is adjusting the implementation and schedule of the program “to allow time to develop solutions to the identified problems,” he said.

He said the military believes the finding that the goggles cause “physical impairment” exaggerates that problem, but that it “is pursuing significant improvements to address soldiers’ concerns about comfort and fit.”

In August, Bush authorized the military to accept some of the 5,000 glasses initially produced but put them on hold, saying the agency is “modifying its field plan to allow time to correct deficiencies and also send them to units targeting are on training activities.”

Asked why the military ordered the testing agency to call the report “Controlled Unclassified Information,” Bush said the agency “followed appropriate DoD classification guidelines.”

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