An article from Military.com reminded about a new viewing system for individual soldiers that has been in development and testing since about 2018 or so. The new system is referred to as ‘Integrated Visual Augmentation System’ (IVAS).
The foundation of IVAS is a Microsoft commercial product called HoloLense which is referred to as ‘mixed reality smartglasses’. The Microsoft HoloLense program is also known under the name ‘Project Baraboo’. The Microsoft product has evolved to more of a goggle set which is the foundation for IVAS. IVAS provides the soldier two advantages…improved situational awareness through heads-up display (HUD) functionality and target reticle projection/integration into the HUD.
The heads-up display improves situational awareness by showing things such as map data. The weapon reticle data is transmitted from a sight unit mounted on the soldiers M4A1 carbine via Bluetooth to the IVAS HUD.
The website ‘Breaking Defense’ did an article back in April of 2020 discussing how Ft. Bragg was using some of the thermal capabilities of the goggles for COVID-19 mitigation. Base personnel were checking soldiers temperatures by just looking at them. You can read the Breaking Defense article here:
The IVAS program is consisting of four Soldier Touch Points (STP’s) so far. STP one (squad level testing) and STP two (platoon level) are completed. Touch Point 3 began on October 17th with roughly a company of soldiers with network integrated IVAS sharing data amongst users. STP 4 is supposed to occur in the spring of 2021 with fielding taking place the same year.
The Military.com article has interesting comments from soldiers involved in testing and can be read at this link:
With UAV’s fully integrated into air warfare, it was only a matter of time until technological improvements for the ground-pounder began to appear. In addition to IVAS, there are testing programs underway for robot ‘donkeys’ to carry gear and supplies for soldiers on the battlefield. I’m glad I retired in May of 2020. The battlefield is becoming increasingly lethal for personnel on all sides…technological improvement for the warfighter isn’t one-sided anymore.