DoD agency warns $22 billion Army/Microsoft HoloLens deal could be waste of taxpayer money

midian182

Posts: 7,895   +82
Staff member
In a nutshell: Microsoft's deal to supply the US Army with 121,500 Integrated Visual Augmentation Systems (IVAS) augmented reality glasses based on its HoloLens technology could be a $22 billion waste of taxpayer money, according to a Department of Defense oversight agency.

Back in 2018, Microsoft began prototyping the IVAS glasses and was awarded a $480 million contract by the Army for 100,000 units. In April last year, Microsoft won the contract to build the final version for soldiers in a deal worth $22 billion over ten years.

The system combines high-resolution night, thermal, and soldier-borne sensors into a heads-up display. It also leverages augmented reality and machine learning to enable a life-like mixed reality training environment, the military branch wrote.

Signs that the project could be running into trouble arrived a few months later when the AR goggles' rollout was pushed back from fiscal year 2021 to September 2022, but the Army said it remained fully committed to the deal.

Yet it seems the US Department of Defense's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) doesn't share the Army's enthusiasm, nothing that many soldiers are having issues with the devices. "Procuring IVAS without attaining user acceptance could result in wasting up to $21.88 billion in taxpayer funds to field a system that soldiers may not want to use or use as intended," it wrote in an audit report (via The Reg).

The report states that there has been both positive and negative user acceptance to the IVAS from soldiers. It never went into a lot of detail, though much of the content has been redacted. "If soldiers do not love IVAS and do not find it greatly enhances accomplishing the mission, then soldiers will not use it," the OIG concludes.

Douglas Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, responded to the report by saying the $21.8 billion figure was likely to be double what the military would spend on IVAS and represented a contract ceiling at the worst possible pricing structure.

Bush added that it's too early to tell soldiers' feelings toward the AR system, noting that most did not like night-vision goggles when they were introduced in the 1970s, but the devices are now used widely by the military. He also said feedback was subjective and influenced by factors such as fatigue and familiarity with the technology being tested.

Ultimately, the OIG argues that the Army should have ensured soldiers wanted to use the IVAS technology before spending $22 billion of taxpayer money on it, which sounds pretty sensible.

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Hexic

Posts: 1,216   +1,898
TechSpot Elite
Too many vague details to draw any conclusion here.

The "Soldiers won't use it if they don't like" it does absolutely hold true to a degree - but it's not the end all be all.

There are two very heavily subjective opinions here, and they [specifically the DoD development arm] fail to state when UAT is going to happen. Because OIG is making this look like the cart is being put in front of the horse - however DOD is saying that it's too early in the process for this. Depends where in the process the development is, and what the plan for moving forward was presented as.

Not sure who to believe, because very little context resides here.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,264   +1,757
Microsoft isn't exactly high on the list of "Companies building devices to entrust your life to"; if anything, it's been scrawled on a rock and buried a kilometer beneath said list's location.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,699   +6,641
All the Holo-lenses and F-35 fighters and F22 fighters in the world couldn't stop Russia from flattening Ukraine.

Of COURSE it's a waste of money.
:rolleyes: It really sounds like its the other way around - that is - Ukraine is flattening Russia so much so that Russia is stomping around like a gigantic brat and threatening nuclear war. You don't do that if you are winning.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,699   +6,641
You`re right. They don`t need this, it only took two old tech rockets to sink the Russians greatest battleship.:joy:
This brings to mind that old battleship game commercial. Picture Putie as the loser ;) -
Heck, this is from when I was too young to remember. šŸ¤£
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
:rolleyes: It really sounds like its the other way around - that is - Ukraine is flattening Russia so much so that Russia is stomping around like a gigantic brat and threatening nuclear war. You don't do that if you are winning.


all the pro-Ukraine propaganda on Earth ain't changing the fact that all them Ukrainians are now in Mexico, Poland or fleeing to elsewhere.

Are you kidding me?

If not for the censorship - I would use my own voice to absolutely let you have it and completely crush every last ridiculous propagandist points you could possibly dream up.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
all the pro-Ukraine propaganda on Earth ain't changing the fact that all them Ukrainians are now in Mexico, Poland or fleeing to elsewhere.

Are you kidding me?

If not for the censorship - I would use my own voice to absolutely let you have it and completely crush every last ridiculous propagandist points you could possibly dream up.
If you have some facts - and you can back them up with evidence... we are all ears... no one will censor it... but... I suspect you have (as usual) nothing to back up your claims - and we won't see you again in this thread...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,699   +6,641
all the pro-Ukraine propaganda on Earth ain't changing the fact that all them Ukrainians are now in Mexico, Poland or fleeing to elsewhere.
Oh no! More illegal immigrants destined for the US. Conservatives must be horrified. šŸ¤£
Are you kidding me?

If not for the censorship - I would use my own voice to absolutely let you have it and completely crush every last ridiculous propagandist points you could possibly dream up.
Uh-huh. Just like Putie - threatening to nuke me with no intent of following through, nor nothing, but insanity, to back it up.

Personally, I find it quite simple to excoriate you without running afoul of TS Special Forces. :rolleyes:
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,365   +2,875
TechSpot Elite
If you have some facts - and you can back them up with evidence... we are all ears... no one will censor it... but... I suspect you have (as usual) nothing to back up your claims -
Why would you suspect that? Just because it's been true 999 times out of 1,000? He still has a 0.1% chance of being right, eh? :laughing:
nd we won't see you again in this thread...
Sooner or later the trolls always go back to hiding under their bridges. :laughing:
 
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Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,365   +2,875
TechSpot Elite
Oh no! More illegal immigrants destined for the US. Conservatives must be horrified. šŸ¤£

Uh-huh. Just like Putie - threatening to nuke me with no intent of following through, nor nothing, but insanity, to back it up.

Personally, I find it quite simple to excoriate you without running afoul of TS Special Forces. :rolleyes:
Yeah, could you imagine if Putin really did attempt to start WW3? He'd be killed by his own men! At that point, if you're one of his men, you realise that he's about to kill himself, you and everyone you ever loved. I'd be like "If you want to die so badly, it is my duty to help you." and empty my Grach's magazine into his head. There's no way that I'm even close to unique in that respect. :laughing:
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 510   +646
:rolleyes: It really sounds like its the other way around - that is - Ukraine is flattening Russia so much so that Russia is stomping around like a gigantic brat and threatening nuclear war. You don't do that if you are winning.

Wish it was that simple. It isn't working out well for the Russian military by any measure, but they've destroyed a lot of lives and laid waste to a nation nonetheless. They don't appear to have the capability to win, but they certainly can make a massive mess, and they seem to be willing to leverage the hell out of that for geopolitical purposes. One might argue that only thing keeping them out of NATO countries is the seemingly frivolous out of resources you guys pile into your military. .
 

AlaskaGuy

Posts: 352   +272
Oh no! More illegal immigrants destined for the US. Conservatives must be horrified. šŸ¤£

Uh-huh. Just like Putie - threatening to nuke me with no intent of following through, nor nothing, but insanity, to back it up.

Personally, I find it quite simple to excoriate you without running afoul of TS Special Forces. :rolleyes:
Obviously you don't know the difference between war refugees and illegal economic migrants.
 

Loadedaxe

Posts: 72   +106
all the pro-Ukraine propaganda on Earth ain't changing the fact that all them Ukrainians are now in Mexico, Poland or fleeing to elsewhere.

Are you kidding me?

If not for the censorship - I would use my own voice to absolutely let you have it and completely crush every last ridiculous propagandist points you could possibly dream up.

Were waiting.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 329   +587
$22 BILLION!?!

Yeah, it's a waste of money.

But it's still less than we are spending to help Saudi Arabia wage war against Yemen.