Microsoft's military smart goggles have been badly reviewed by soldiers

The U.S. Army awarded a $22 billion contract to Microsoft to build HoloLens-like smart goggles for its soldiers, called the IVAS program. The contract is already behind schedule and plagued by quality and performance issues. The device received poor reviews from soldiers in a recent test, according to an Army report.

Smart goggles Microsoft designed for the U.S. military failed a recent Army test, with a tester saying the device was dangerous for soldiers, according to an excerpt from an Army report.

"These devices will kill us," one tester said in an excerpt from an Army report. The tester was referring to the light produced by the goggles when activated, which could allow enemy soldiers to spot the location of their own.

In a recent "hands-on demo," the device failed four of six evaluations, according to a Microsoft employee with knowledge of the situation. According to the employee, criticisms include that the light from the device's display can be seen from hundreds of meters away, potentially revealing the wearer's location. Testers also found that with goggles on, the soldier's field of vision, including peripheral vision, was limited, and the size and weight of the device limited the soldier's movement.

So far, operational testing has been generally considered a success, and the Army remains committed to the IVAS program, an Army spokesman said. Brigadier General Christopher D-Schneider said, "The emerging results show that the program has been successful on most Army evaluation criteria. However, the results also identify IVAS deficiencies and areas that need additional improvement, and the Army will solve these problems."

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