The third "soldier touchpoint," or user evaluation, of the Integrated Visual Augmentation system has been set for late July, according to an Army official.
The upcoming touchpoint will allow soldiers to test the most up-to-date capabilities of the service's augmented reality battlefield heads-up display and provide feedback to service leaders. The touchpoint is tentatively scheduled for July 20 to Aug. 14 at Ft. Pickett, VA and will be the first "government-hardened" evaluation for soldiers.
"Up to this point [the Army] has been using a mix of commercial and government sensors, based off of more the commercial design and kind of attaching things to it," Col. Kurt Thompson, deputy director of the soldier lethality cross functional team, told Inside Defense in an interview today. "The [touchpoint] in July will look much closer to what the final design will look like."
Thompson added the IVAS prototype in the third touchpoint will be "more in line with a military hardened capability" with various sensors that have been developed throughout the prototyping phase. Microsoft was awarded a $479 million contract in 2018 to produce prototypes for IVAS.
The second soldier touchpoint was completed last November at Ft. Pickett and included more advanced tactical sockets, rapid target acquisition, low light thermal cameras and more capabilities.
The IVAS effort consists of four soldier touchpoints and production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020.