Microsoft’s deal with the US army over modified HoloLens VR headsets is a huge one. According to media reports significant budget cuts are currently underway which could result in the project being stopped. This was reported in Bloomberg online Magazine with reference to the most recent developments.
The responsible Senate committee that oversees defense spending has made significant cuts to military funding for HoloLens 2023. The whole deal was thrown into disarray when it became apparent that the project had some problems. Microsoft last year revealed that it had been awarded a $22 million contract by the US military to create a tactical AR headset for soldiers using HoloLens 2. This huge order seemed like a good starting point to further develop HoloLens.
The Defense Affairs Subcommittee announced that it had cut $350million from the military’s IVAS procurement plans, leaving just about $50 million. Subcommittee expressed concern over the program’s effectiveness.
The government doesn’t believe in success
It stated in an official correspondence that it was concerned about IVAS’ continued problems with software, hardware and user adoption. “While the Army Department’s 2021 decision that extended the testing and evaluation stage for an additional 10 month was encouraging, the committee notes that IVAS1.1 still faces significant development challenges.” Congress also frozen $394 million from the military’s IVAS budget earlier this year.
It seems now that Microsoft is unable to sustain the project. A statement on the future of IVAS isn’t yet available. The subcommittee approved budgets for UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and AH-64 Apache helicopters.