Dual Use Heads-Up Display Systems

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The US Army’s new heads-up display is going to work early against an unusual new enemy: the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) based on Microsoft’s HoloLens technology are intended for helping soldiers see in the dark, translate foreign languages, and navigate unfamiliar battlespaces. However, they are currently used by soldiers at Fort Benning military base to “rapidly assess” the temperature of hundreds of soldiers daily in the base’s training pipelines, including basic training.

The IVAS’ digital thermal sensors have essentially been repurposed to detect fevers as an on-the fly diagnostic tool, with new recruits resuming basic training. 

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The screening effort used prototypes from a second user evaluation that do not represent the final version of the IVAS, according to the Army’s press release, prototypes which “cannot [yet] be used outdoors, where temperatures continually fluctuate, for the purpose of fever detection.”

The sudden deployment of the IVAS to the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight has done little to delay the ongoing development and maturation of the system for combat as a top priority for Army modernization officials, according to taskandpurpose.com. “That’s the genius of this system; we can use this technology today to fight the virus, even as we shape it into the combat system our soldiers need tomorrow,” said the Army statement. “While we’re maintaining momentum in pursuit of modernization, we have to keep in mind that readiness today is critical.”

The Army plans on fielding over 40,000 IVAS goggles by late fiscal year 2021, according to the service’s February budget request.

Attend i-HLS’ InnoTech Expo in Tel Aviv – Israel’s largest innovation, HLS, and cyber technologies expo – on November 18-19, 2020 at Expo Tel Aviv, Pavilion 2.

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