A US Senate committee overseeing defense budgets has decided that Microsoft and the US military will receive less money for the development of the HoloLens by 2023. The committee is concerned about ongoing problems.
The problems would according to Bloomberg related to software, hardware and user adoption and have not yet been satisfactorily addressed, according to The Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. As a result, Microsoft and the US military will only award $50 million instead of the $400 million requested for 2023. With this decision, the Senate committee, according to Bloomberg, agrees with the statements of another committee from the US House of Representatives that in June of this year had expressed concerns about the feasibility of the project.
Microsoft partnered with the US military in 2018 to develop 100,000 modified versions of its AR glasses, the HoloLens headset, for $480 million. The modified version of the AR headset was given the name Integrated Visual Augmentation System within the US military and is intended, among other things, to increase the situational awareness of American troops. The headset uses a night vision function and thermal vision for this. Sensors should also make it possible to better estimate the health status of other soldiers.
In February 2019, a number of Microsoft employees wrote an open letter demanding that the project be halted. That didn’t happen. Just weeks after the open letter, Microsoft and the U.S. military announced a 10-year contract between the two parties worth $21.88 billion to produce 120,000 modified versions of its HoloLens 2.
Integrated Visual Augmentation System