The new secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, recently had a chance of testing brand new Microsoft smart glasses. Both he and General James McConville traveled to Fort Pickett earlier this year to try and test a prototype glasses called IVAS.
IVAS is short for Integrated Visual Augmentation System, and it was requested in November by the Army. They offered $480 million to Microsoft to design a device that will be based on AR (augmented reality) that will help soldiers by creating a training environment.
Both of them stepped in an empty room with glasses on for the first test. But they saw something different. McCarthy explained that he saw the enemy fighters and various terrorist groups. Furthermore, he explained that everything looked like a really good video game.
The idea behind the IVAS is to create a synthetic training ground for soldiers where they will be able to experience different combat scenarios. Of course, one of the main ideas is repetition. Through repetition, soldiers will practice clearing areas and engaging enemy troops, but without having to leave the base.
While there are still some inconveniences, McCarthy acknowledged that it is still an early prototype. He said that the engineers had to interrupt and tweak the glasses a bit since they had some minor performance issues. Furthermore, he praised the depth and the perception that he had while wearing glasses.
IVAS will replace the previous model that tried to provide situational awareness and tactical info for soldiers that would show before their eyes.
While it is uncertain when this model will be fielded to troops, they are expecting the prototype to be finished by 2020.