The US government has canceled the purchase of more HoloLens augmented reality combat goggles from Microsoft after discovering that the current version has some flaws that need to be fixed, reports Bloomberg.
So instead of ordering more of the current model, the government approved $40 million for Microsoft to develop a new version.
The updated combat goggles will take into account the results of last year’s tests, where 70 soldiers wore the current version during three 72-hour scenarios simulating combat conditions. The results showed that the soldiers suffered from headaches, eye strain, and nausea and that the system had too many failures of essential functions.
In addition, more than 80% of soldiers who reported discomfort began to feel it less than three hours after the 72-hour challenge.
The Army initially requested $400 million to purchase up to 6,900 pairs of glasses as part of a $1.75 trillion government funding bill. Instead, Congress approved allocating $40 million of that amount for the development of a new version.
The Army has already awarded Microsoft $125 million to build the revised model and still plans to spend up to $21.9 billion over the next decade on 121,000 devices.
The contract with the US Department of Defense significantly increased Microsoft’s ability to generate revenue from its AR device. Before cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, the company sold a headset for corporate production, training, and other industrial purposes.
While Microsoft has hinted at a possible consumer version of HoloLens, the company has yet to announce any specifics — and its plans are becoming vaguer after it reportedly struggled to form a coherent strategy for its headset.