Bottom Line Up Front: If you or your company are interested in opportunities involving the Army’s HoloLens 2 googles, this office is where all the work is happening.
Who Is Program Executive Office Soldier?
In 2018, the US Army launched a brand new outfit called the Army Futures Command. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, this group is responsible for developing everything that the Army is going to use in the future: helicopters, cannon, vehicles, hypersonics, Artificial Intelligence, communications, electronics, software, the whole deal. All future Army technology goes through them.
Under the Army Futures Command is a sub-group called Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier). If a soldier wears it, carries it, or is equipped with it, PEO Soldier is in charge of it. Body armor, personal radios, helmets, parachutes, night vision, everything. PEO Soldier equips the people.
The HoloLens 2
It’s right there in their name, “future.” Their job is to prepare for the fights of tomorrow with the equipment of tomorrow. So a couple of years ago, the US Army teamed up with Microsoft to create a rugged military version of their HoloLens 2 extended reality goggles. They called it the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS.
The idea was to have an extended-reality system that could be used for an unimaginable range of cool new things. In training, soldiers could rehearse in virtual environments, against simulated adversaries. During battle, all kinds of helpful tactical graphics could help enhance a soldier’s situational awareness. And for the commanders, the IVAS goggles would provide an unprecedented operational picture to guide decisions. And it would all run on that internet-of-all-military-things we’ve talked about before.
Everything is new! This is a completely new field suddenly available to the software industry! There have never been extended-reality military goggles, so everything is up for grabs! There is so much opportunity!
The US Army got the goggles with a few basic applications in mind, but they were also aware they didn’t know everything. They also got the goggles with the expectation that innovative, creative people would invent unbelievable new stuff that no one had ever thought of! The Army expects that private industry will show up with some astonishing cool new thing that will knock their socks off, so why can’t it be you?
If you already do 3D graphics or games, the cost of entry is relatively low. Give it a try and see if you can invent the cool new extended reality military thing of tomorrow!