Combat Goggles with Augmented Reality to Change the Face of Battle

The Washington Post reported on 31 March that “[t]he U.S. Army has awarded Microsoft a contract worth up to $21 billion for augmented reality headsets that are supposed to help soldiers map the battlefield, select targets and stay aware of possible threats by overlaying intelligence information directly onto their field of vision.”  The Army is developing the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggles for close-combat forces, particularly infantry. The goggles can see in the dark, project digital maps and other data on the lenses for viewing by the user, and they can digitally link up with other deployed imaging systems to, e.g., see opposing forces behind walls. “The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios,” Alex Kipman, an augmented reality technologist, wrote in a blog post provided by a Microsoft representative. The program contract entails two 5-year increments.  Photos courtesy of Jeenah Moon/Getty Images and the U.S. Army, via The Washington Post.