Us army lets microsoft develop data glasses with facial recognition

Us army lets microsoft develop data glasses with facial recognition

Soldiers train with the Integrated Visual Augmentation System. Image: DoD

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System will integrate as much available visual data as possible, monitor soldiers’ performance and optimize targeting accuracy

The Army Futures Command, founded a year ago, wants to equip the US Army with new technologies. By the end of the month, it plans to be fully operational, accelerating developments and acquisitions beyond the usual channels. However, criticism has already come from the GAO that not enough small companies are being included. It’s all about AI applications, autonomous vehicles and robots, 3D printers, new weapons, new missiles like the Precision Strike Munitions, which are said to have an INF-compatible range of just 499 km. On Wednesday, the command presented itself and its projects to members of the press.

US soldiers have long been training in small units with new augmented reality goggles. The HoloLens-based Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) is being developed by Microsoft as part of a $480 million program. There was opposition to the project from some Microsoft employees, who wrote a letter of protest "HoloLens For Good, Not War" wrote to the management, but achieved nothing.

As part of the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) program, which involves replacements for the M249 light machine gun and the M4 Carbine assault rifle, there was a request for an improved head-up display (HUD) that could be worn as goggles and connected to a camera and mini-computer.

The glasses that can do almost anything

Much is expected from the new technology. Ultimately, IVAS, which is to be realized as a prototype by 2020, will integrate as many functions as possible into a device that, together with the glasses, batteries, camera, sensors, etc., can be used by all users. should not weigh more than 1 kg. Each IVAS is connected via radio or WLAN to the goggles of the other soldiers in the unit, with cloud computing if needed. The soldiers can see where the others are and mark enemies or objects. It is said to provide night vision and warm image and also serve as a compass and navigation device. And scenarios and videos can be inserted for training purposes.

Ultimately, the glasses, with sensors and AI, are also intended to monitor soldiers and their performance readiness. Eye movements, pupil dilation, breathing, mouthing direction and reaction times are to be registered in order to estimate the performance of the unit and to be able to train it better: "The hope is to use the amount of behavioral and biometric data to identify weaknesses in individuals. The AI is expected to gather enough data over time to provide advice on the best formation for a unit, the weapons and equipment needed for a particular mission", writes the Army Times.

Very important to the Army is the optimization of pushing. This is not only about better target detection, marking and tracking, but it is also to be done with the gun pointed around corners and from hiding places, but with a protected body or through fog or. Smoke can be shot. Soldiers can see through the barrel. In addition, the distance to the target, weather conditions and ballistic properties of the weapon and ammunition will be taken into account when aiming and firing.

facial recognition and pictures of the "personal drones"

As Patrick Tucker reports, Army officers hope for miracle technology. During a demonstration of the latest version, Lieutenant Chris Schneider, the IVAS project manager, announced that with the glasses "very, very soon" people will also have been identified by facial recognition. When looking for people and going around, "it will identify them very quickly". In general, they want to integrate all available sensor data.

For example, the goggles are also supposed to let you see images of mini-drones such as the Black Hornet, which is used as a "personal drone" because every soldier could be equipped with one. It is the world’s smallest surveillance drone to date with a weight of 32 grams, a length of 16.8 cm and a rotor with a diameter of 12.3 cm. The range is 3 km, the flight time up to 25 minutes and the maximum speed 21,5 km/h. The Black Hornets are said to be barely horbar and fly at wind speeds up to 20 knots (37 km/h) (mini-drones for the US military in combat).

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