Microsoft to supply USA soldiers with HoloLens headsets on the battlefield

US Army to use Microsoft’s Hololens for combat missions

US Army to use Microsoft’s Hololens for combat missions

Microsoft's HoloLens is one of the few, but companies like Google, Apple and Samsung are rumored to be working on their own.

Microsoft announced it was awarded a $480 million contract to begin development on an augmented reality system for use with its HoloLens headset for the U.S. Army.

As Bloomberg reports, HoloLens is already in use by the US Army and Israeli military for training, but this contract is different as it requires Microsoft to modify the headsets so as to be of use during combat missions.

"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions", Microsoft said in a statement. Along with Microsoft, another AR headset manufacturer, Magic Leap also went after the contract.

"Bloomberg notes that a government description of the program says, "[We aim to] increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide, and engage before the enemy".

Meet 'Knickers'... Australia's largest cow happily saved from the slaughterhouse
Owner Geoff Pearson, from Lake Preston in Western Australia's south-west, said Knickers' size is what saved him from the abattoir. His unusual name comes from his pairing with a long-departed Brahman steer named Bra - giving the farm a "full set of underwear".

This new venture, though, is a significant step up from what we've seen previously, with the USA government keen on finding a headset that could allow for night vision, the ability to measure vital signs, bring hearing protection and monitor for signs of concussion. Microsoft will reportedly release a new, cheaper model in early 2019. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area.

The contract went though a bidding process created to encourage the Army to do business with companies who aren't traditional defense contractors.

The headset has never really been sold as a consumer product, but it's popular with enterprises for manufacturing, training, marketing and other purposes. Employees recently raised a fuss with Redmond over its deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) even though the company had only agreed to supply the agency with email, calendar, and messaging services. The solution? Move uneasy staff members to other projects, Microsoft president Brad Smith said last month.

While the headline deal is advertised for 100,000 headsets, the initial order is only for 2500 to be delivered within 2 years, with the capacity for mass production in the future.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.