The Army's futuristic heads-up display is coming sooner than you think

Military Tech

VIDEO: The Army's vision of the future for Tactical Augmented Reality

It can see through smoke and in near total darkness, translate written foreign languages and pull up detailed maps, and can rapidly acquire and identify targets. It's the Army's new heads-up display of the future, and it's coming to an armory near you sooner than you think.

The Army plans on fielding its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggle system, based on Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset, by late fiscal year 2021 to enhance the situational awareness of infantry soldiers, the Army announced Tuesday.

Since late October, Army officials have been conducting the second of four "soldier touch points" (STP) — Army Futures Command's special name for prototype testing during the system's 24-month rapid acquisition timeline — at Fort Pickett in Virginia to solicit soldier feedback and flaunt the IVAS's capabilities for both warfighters and members of the media.

A soldier wearing the Army's Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggle system during the second of four Soldier Touch Points in the 24-month IVAS development schedule

The system's current capabilities include, according to the Army statement, "a color see-through digital display that makes it possible for the user to access information without taking his eye off the battlefield; thermal and low-light sensors that make it possible to see in the dark, literally; rapid target acquisition and aided target identification; augmented reality and artificial intelligence."

According to Business Insider, which recently tested the new system during a technology demonstration at Fort Pickett, the heads-up display overlays a three-dimensional map of the battlefield over a soldier's line of sight, automatically adjusting to compensate for obstructions like smoke or unpredictable changes in lighting — while identifying foreign objects in a warfighter's path.

"When terms like 'situational awareness' get thrown around time after time, it's easy to lose sight of what it really means," Maj. Brad Winn, IVAS lead for the Pentagon's Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team, said in the Army statement.

"In this case, one of the greatest capabilities of IVAS is Aided Target Recognition, a feature that gives users the ability to quickly identify anything or anyone in sight."

It's not just infantry soldiers getting a taste of the IVAS: Jane's reports that senior Pentagon leaders, including Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Martin and James McPherson, who is performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Army, rolled up at Fort Pickett for a hands-on test of the IVAS in conjunction with the service's new Family of Weapon Sights - Individual (FWS-I) that wirelessly connects to a soldier's night vision goggles.

"Service leaders headed through the woods and into a building on a mission to test out the IVAS HUD's ability to recognize and register faces, pull up maps, and translate foreign characters,"Janes reports. "Leaders also demoed the integration of the [FWS-I] ... into the IVAS HUD when they faced 'enemy combatants.'"

There are two more STPs ahead for soldiers to test the IVAS, according to the Army, one in the summer of 2020 and the last sometime in 2021.

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."

"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

Read More Show Less

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

Read More Show Less