Congress has rejected the US Army’s request for funding to purchase more combat goggles from Microsoft, according to a report. The Army’s ask of $400 million to buy about 6,900 goggles, which are based on Microsoft’s HoloLens Headset, was nixed because field tests showed the headsets caused “mission-affecting physical impairments,” like headaches and nausea, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Lawmakers did approve $40 million in funding to develop a new goggles model, Army spokesman David Patterson told the news outlet in an email.
In December, the Army awarded a “task order” to Microsoft to develop a new variant of combat goggles, called version 1.2. The money for the order came from funding acquired in 2021. The Army wrote that the new variant will address “physiological” issues identified during testing. Field testing for version 1.2 of the goggles is supposed to begin in September.
Microsoft said it’s focused on improving the technology.
The company “is committed to working with the Army to further develop [Integrated Visual Augmentation System] technology,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email to CNET. “The regular cadence of building and testing IVAS … will help us refine and improve the technology to ensure it brings unparalleled protection and capabilities to America’s Soldiers.”
For more, check out the US Army’s $21.88 billion deal to produce the combat goggles, as well as CNET’s hands-on review of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2.