Coronavirus News Asia

IVAS: From battlefield to fever detection

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Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And with the US Army, there is definitely a will.

Case in point — much like headsets used by America’s fighter pilots, the militarized Microsoft’s advanced HoloLens headset was designed to spot enemy targets day and night on future battlefields.

Along came the scourge of Covid-19, and a completely different set of needs, Sidney J. Freedberg Jr. of Breaking Defense reported.

Enter Tom Bowman, director of IVAS Science & Technology Special Project Office with the C5ISR’s Night Vision Laboratory at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Bowman realized the system’s built-in infrared sensor could be used to read a person’s body temperature from a safe distance and took the initiative, the report said.

Microsoft engineers made a few adjustments to the software and in just four short days, the first modified IVAS prototypes arrived at Fort Benning.

Now, hundreds of soldiers are now getting their temperatures checked using the Army’s rapidly evolving Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), the report said.

“We’ve always planned for an agile software system and a digital platform that can be upgraded and adapted to use against emerging threats in the future. No one anticipated the next threat to emerge would be a virus, but that’s the enemy we face today,” said Bowman, who — to use a football analogy — brought a special team to Fort Benning to tackle the pandemic while the rest of the team drives on with design and testing.

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