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darkpaladin t1_j5yfi39 wrote

Isn't stuff like this why field testing happens in the first place? From reading the article it seems like the army likes the overall package but it needs a lot of refinement which I think is fairly standard for field gear?


Bubbagumpredditor t1_j5yg84v wrote

No, no, no, nothing is ever.prototyped and tested, everything comes out perfect right off the drawing board.


FavelTramous t1_j615chq wrote

Exactly, the iPhone is living proof. It’s been perfected like 27 times.


55855585 t1_j61aqy7 wrote

That's capitalism for you. The LADA was built to such perfection the very first time that it never needed to slightest change, friend.


DizGod t1_j62mmxh wrote

Well they pay for it like it was perfect


kymri t1_j5zla37 wrote

Yes, but "Early version of new technology isn't as good as the sales guy promised" isn't going to get nearly as many clicks.


dannyapplesauce t1_j64e6d7 wrote

ehhhh, with the military they likely asked for the moon on a stick and then changed the scope of work like 30 times after the contractor was selected or there were specifications that made no fucking sense and are not representative of the actual environment the tech will be used in but is more "just in case" we have to use these at 50,000 ft altitude and -40 Celsius.


PhilosophyforOne t1_j5zw421 wrote

I’ve been following this for a while - the complaints from field tests have persisted for a while now. While both MS and Army spokespeople have denied any considerable issues, the actual testers have absolutely loathed the product. The problems have also repeatedly gone unfixed.

Basically, I think they jumped on the tech too soon. It sounds good on paper but it cant perform in practice and the drawbacks are too big, both due to maneuvaribility, cumbersomness and just general useability and benefits from use.

The kind of things you see in a Marvel film are way way ahead in the future, even just technology-wise.


Prestigious-Gap-1163 t1_j60ee2u wrote

Considering Microsoft laid off a bunch of the staff behind this project/technology very recently I’d say they know it’s a bust and everyone is moving on.


DevAway22314 t1_j621f39 wrote

That probably had more to do with congressional appropriations denying additional funding to replace the existing headsets. Military leaders requested funding for updated hardware that fixed some of the main issues (like nausea), but were denied. Instead being awarded a very small sum to use in an attempt to retrofit the existing headsets


dessimus t1_j60acjj wrote

>The Army knows that IVAS 1.0 is something of a lemon. Indeed, as Task & Purpose previously reported, the service awarded a “task order” to Microsoft in mid-December to develop a new variant of the system known as IVAS 1.2 that will include a new form factor designed to address the “physiological impacts identified during testing,” the service announced in January.
>According to Breaking Defense, the Army still plans on fielding the 5,000 IVAS 1.0 units it’s currently procuring from Microsoft at $46,000 a pop to training units and Army Recruiting command for a total price tag of $230 million.

One would think the field testing would come prior to buying the gear, not awarding contractors for providing half-baked concepts.


dravik t1_j61ogh7 wrote

That depends on what the government asked for and what the contractor promised. You need some number to do field tests. If they meet the development milestones, it works but needs some refinements, then I can see doing the initial purchase. Look at where they are going: recruiting and subs training units. It appears that they are going to places where they identified process problems aren't an issue.


robi4567 t1_j6378o8 wrote

Well you still buy the gear you test. I have a friend who sells military equipment. Armies buy them and throw all sort of shit at the equipment to see how it handles in the field and in strange situations.


CallFromMargin t1_j5yh5hb wrote

Yeah, this is why they were tested. I remember reading about US military using AR goggles a decade ago, specifically back then they were being tested by mechanics and maintenance workers, and the advertisement said that AR will show them where to check what and will show manuals, documentation, etc. While they worked.

Even back then I wondered if it won't make them nauseous.


AdakaR t1_j5zjunn wrote

AR plugins for ATAK is a thing, it knows where your night vision is pointed and projects relevant info to you. Waypoints, friendly tags and soforth. The issue is it only works at night which hololens is trying to solve, but AR in war on a individual soldiers level is already real.


kymri t1_j5zlix0 wrote

My favorite part of this is how much UI research has already been done in this regard -- because of freakin' video games. Shooters have been working on finding the best ways to present relevant info to players in their field of view for decades. (And, hell - the military uses Xbox controllers for some interfaces on things like EoD bots and Submarine periscopes...)


DevAway22314 t1_j621ssj wrote

> the military uses Xbox controllers for some interfaces on things like EoD bots and Submarine periscopes

As they should. Saves tons of money and requires far less training for the vast majority of soldiers. Custom hardware is extremely expensive (compare the $46,000 price tag per IVAS 1.0 headset to the ~$1000 per headset for consumer headsets)


lisa_frank_trapper t1_j5zspxj wrote

As a completely untrained civilian, I learned to cold start an A10 Warthog in VR, so I think there’s lots of potential for training and practicing procedures away from the front. That said, I wouldn’t want to wear the damn thing in the desert, and I don’t know what sort of overlays they could provide, that they aren’t already using as part of systems like JTAC.


Badtrainwreck t1_j5ywwps wrote

Of course it makes people less lethal, it’s unnatural, however if they perfected the technology then all they’d have to do is wait until VR technology is more normalized and also higher quality where people grow up with it and it becomes second nature.


gordonjames62 t1_j604vks wrote

If you want to be the leader in a new field, you have to actually lead. This is why it is difficult to do this. It hasn't actually been done before and there is no one to copy.

Here is some of what you need for a start:

  • A decent battery that can work in the field with long battery life and low weight / danger / cumbersomeness.

  • A decent headset that allows good situational awareness and field of view when off, and not too intrusive when on.

  • Something that can be worn with a traditional helmet

  • something that does not block hearing (but possibly does noise cancellation in noisy environments to improve communication)

  • We hope it would communicate with not yet invented hardware (to give ammo counts like in a FPS game)

  • we hope it will scan for 360 degree IR and 360 degree visible.

  • we hope it would scan for RF signals like friendly communication AND to give directional info about unfriendly RF sources.

  • we hope it can network with other field devices to share visual and other tactical data.

These are just basics that we might want, and we want it now, and we want it to be idiot proof. Then we want it in a package that is no more cumbersome than current communication tools.

The bar is really high.

It will take a lot of R&D to get there.


Skastrik t1_j6369en wrote

The problem is trying to achieve all of this at the same time, they haven't tried to take the approach to achieve one or two things and then work long time to add all the other features as they are ready.

It's always an all or nothing approach.


gordonjames62 t1_j636rvr wrote

the bar for success is so high.

The amount of R&D required is huge.

Just the secure communication encryption will be a nightmare.


Reasonable_Ticket_84 t1_j63i3ou wrote

>Just the secure communication encryption will be a nightmare.

Uh dude, that's been invented 3000 times over. Military radios are standard tech from Thales, Harris and General Dynamics. Any new equipment on a soldier that needs a secure data link actually just plugs into the existing radios.

You are making an assumption they want the headset to do everything, they absolutely don't and the details on those plans have been fairly public.


It's just an iteration of the Nett Warrior project and it reuses most of it.


gordonjames62 t1_j63j1at wrote

There is a difference between being able to decrypt communication, and being able to disrupt communication.


Reasonable_Ticket_84 t1_j63m29g wrote

Again, you are speaking out of your ass.

Military radios already exist to deal with secure encryption and resisting jamming. These are in fact standard issue soldiers and integrate with a whole family of equipment in plug and play fashion. And they continue to create newer and newer generations of radio that become standard issue pretty quickly because RF engineering itself is pretty mature and much of it is just silicon design catching up and allowing better processing capabilities.


Hypnot0ad t1_j63qqiz wrote

Also important: if a unit gets lost/captured the enemy shouldn’t be able to access all your network/comms.


zoltar-wisdom t1_j5zopq6 wrote

It might make sense to have like one designated guy that’s got some heads up display to relay information. Otherwise, they really need to get this down into like a glasses size package. no way I’m getting shot wearing one of those fucking things.


monchota t1_j6069wq wrote

Yes they hate it now, AR displays absolutely will be normal for a future soldier.


GrumpyButtrcup t1_j61ft3l wrote

Old Vets hated the swap from the M1 to the M16 because it looked like a toy. Other vets hate the ACOG system because back in their day they used iron sights.

Doesn't matter what it is, anything new will make a soldier groan.


zeb0777 t1_j6139g0 wrote

Make it lighter, and more compact, I'll be good. My guess is it's too bulky right now.

If they could show my current grid location and the grid of a location I laz to on a small HUD, the I'd be happy with that.


morenullstuff t1_j60kynw wrote

Been working on these headsets with the military and air force for years. This statement is out of the blue and not really justified. They love the gear and these are headsets will be used in our military. This is just making it's rounds as clockbait


PrologueTrack t1_j63113y wrote

Because it’s shit and not ready for use for anything.


Skastrik t1_j6361j9 wrote

Information goggles have been the holy grail for integrated combat operations since 1994 and the Land warrior program.

Not surprised in the slightest that it still isn't achievable. The tech still isn't mature enough and it overloads the soldier with information rather than assists him.


unmondeparfait t1_j64nbyf wrote

Stop trying to make VR/AR happen. It's never going to happen.


Best-Road-2605 t1_j5zrqxj wrote

It’s also owned by a Chinese company which has been known to screw up tech for the U.S. military in the past. Maybe stick to in country or ally tech.


The69BodyProblem t1_j603gbw wrote

...hololens is a msft product. Unless I missed something they're an American company


[deleted] t1_j60995u wrote



The69BodyProblem t1_j60bqol wrote

Like basically every tech company on the face of the planet? By that logic, Apple would be owned by China and India.