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Military use of Microsoft's HoloLens would get soldiers killed

by on14 October 2022

Only on the wrong side

Microsoft and the US Army are continuing to explore how to make mixed reality an aid rather than a hindrance for soldiers after tests showed that soldiers taking them into battle felt sick and were more vulnerable to enemy forces.

 A US Army report on a "recent" field test dictated to it by an unnamed employee included a soldier who tested the tech saying, "The devices would have gotten us killed."

Apparently, this was not because soldiers were feeling sick but because at night the HoloLens lit up like a torch and was visible from hundreds of meters away.

In addition to this, US soldiers reported experiencing nausea, headaches, and strained eyes, which could all affect real-life missions.  Most started feeling ill after three hours. 

The solider discomfort that sounds similar to what a lot of consumers complain about when getting used to a head-mounted display (HMD): the weight of the hardware limiting movement and a limited field of view.

A Microsoft employee briefed about the event said the HMD failed four out of six "operational demo" evaluations.

Nickolas Guertin, director of Operation Test and Evaluation for the US Army, said in the summary of the US Army's report that the goggles need improvements around field of vision, low-light sensors, and display clarity and even claimed that some essential functions didn't work reliably.

But it wasn't all thumbs-down. The report summary found that the average time between downtime decreased and that the latest updates yielded "enhanced navigation and coordination of unit movements.


Last modified on 14 October 2022
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