The IRS seeks to experiment with augmented reality: FCW

Emerging technology

The IRS seeks to experiment with augmented reality

The IRS has issued a draft request for proposals to help improve the user experience of its digital services on mobile devices by leveraging augmented reality (RA).

The draft RFP indicates that the IRS is looking for RA solutions to overlay contextual information on existing IRS forms for the public, especially for mobile device users. The draft application notes that the tax agency does not plan to host RA solutions in IRS architecture. In addition, successful solutions will include some type of data collection component to provide information on the use of RA functionality.

The idea, according to the agency, is to “provide solutions capable of generating information that enhances the taxpayers’ experience when any mobile device targets IRS images” or documents with AR or related capabilities. The agency uses its IRS Pilot program, which poses “problem-solving” to vendors, to test and deploy experimental products at the same time before making final decisions.

Previous challenges for the pilot IRS have sought solutions in robotic process automation tools to reduce manual data entry, as well as high-speed scanning and image recognition. According to the IRS Pilot, the agency announces funding for several projects at once, following a three-phase program to determine if experimental solutions and technologies help achieve IRS missions and provide the best value based on technical capabilities, the past performance and price.

These phases include proof of concept and prototype; which, in this case, involves contractors demonstrating their skills to improve the taxpayer experience; additional testing and piloting; in which the agency will pilot the experimental solution while collecting real-time feedback on the convenience and effectiveness of the interface; and deployment; usually a multi-year phase in which the solution is adequately tailored to a longer duration as the agency considers whether to expand funding.

The RFP includes maximum contract amounts of $ 7.5 million for the current iteration of the IRS Pilot Program. “Depending on the results and priorities of the mission, the IRS will decide to fund all, some or none of the projects at each stage,” the document states, adding, “It is important to note that there is no guarantee of funding for future phases “.

About the author

Chris Riotta is an FCW staff writer covering technology and public procurement policy. Chris joined FCW after covering American politics for three years at The Independent. He earned his master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as president of the 2021 class.

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