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US Congress Rejects Further Orders of Microsoft's Army Goggles

Instead, it approved a transfer of $40 million from the procurement funds for the development of a new version of the headset.

The US Congress rejected the Army's request to order more of Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) after field tests revealed issues.

IVAS is a heavily modified version of the company's HoloLens goggles that are used in a program aiming to provide US Army soldiers with augmented reality headsets to improve situational awareness.

Earlier it was reported, that soldiers who tested the device suffered "physical impairments" including headaches, eyestrain, and nausea after less than three hours of using the goggles. In addition, it was claimed that field tests had shown "too many failures of essential functions" as well as revealed the need for improvements to the goggles' low-light sensors, display clarity, and field of vision.

Despite the device's flaws, the Army reportedly planned to spend $21.9 billion over a decade on it and also proposed to spend about $400 million on the program this fiscal year.

However, as a recent report from Bloomberg reveals, Congress rejected the US Army’s request for $400 million which was planned to be used to purchase up to 6,900 units. The new agency states that the rejection reflects the government's concerns over field tests of the device.

Nonetheless, according to Army spokesman David Patterson, lawmakers approved a transfer of $40 million from the procurement funds for the development of a new IVAS model.

In addition, the Bloomberg report claims that last month, the Army awarded a $125 million "task order" for a new model, labeled version 1.2, using funds from the previous year's appropriations. Meanwhile, the Army has already ordered the first 5,000 headsets – this existing batch will be reportedly used while the new model is being developed.

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