The US government has decided to buy more HoloLens-based augmented reality glasses from Microsoft after discovering that the current version has some kinks that need to be worked out, according to Bloomberg.
So instead of asking for more from the current model, including headaches, eyestrain, and nausea, the government agreed to $40 million for Microsoft to develop a new version.
The updated combat goggles will incorporate test results from last year when 70 soldiers wore the current version during three 72-hour scenarios simulating combat conditions, according to the engadget report.
The results showed that soldiers suffered from “headaches, eyestrain and nausea” and that the system had “many failures in basic functions”. In addition, more than 80% of the soldiers who reported discomfort began to feel less than three hours after the 72-hour test.
The military initially asked for $400 million to buy up to 6,900 pairs of the glasses as part of the $1.75 trillion government funding bill.
Congress has approved $40 million of that to develop the new version. The Army has already given Microsoft $125 million to create a revised model, and it still plans to spend up to $21.9 billion over the next decade for as many as 121,000 devices.
And the DoD contract greatly enhanced Microsoft’s ability to leverage its AR hardware. Prior to working with the Department of Defense, the company marketed the headset for enterprise manufacturing, training and other industrial purposes.
And although Microsoft has hinted at an end-consumer version of the HoloLens, the company has yet to announce any details, and its plans are murkier after the company reportedly struggled to form a coherent strategy for its headset.