Microsoft has signed a contract with the US Army to produce augmented reality headsets. Worth $22 billion, the contract states that the tech giant would supply Microsoft 120k HoloLens to the US Army. With this, stocks of the company also went up by 3% on NASDAQ the day after the announcement. According to a statement by the army, the headset enables soldiers to fight, rehearse and train in one system. Meant to keep soldiers safe, a standard-issue HoloLens costs about $3,500. The technology is based on Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets, which were first designed for video games.
- Contract worth $22 billion over 10 years
- 120,000 headsets will be provided in the next 10 years
- Costs $3,500 a piece
Microsoft Hololens Army Contract
As per the contract, Microsoft will provide the army with a tailored version of the HoloLens to improve the performance and safety of soldiers. In fact, these Microsoft 120k HoloLens will be utilised to make the U.S. Military’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggles to perform better.
According to the official blogpost, Microsoft is equipped to move its IVAS program from prototype to “production and rapid fielding”. This means, the AR headsets will be now be mass-produced and deployed to more soldiers on the field. The blog says, “The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios.”
How will Microsoft’s augmented reality headset help the army?
Microsoft President Brad Smith, during his discussion with the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, emphasised on the use of the latest technology on the battlefield. He said the soldiers could use the AR headsets to see clearly at night and for facial recognition on the battlefield. He also described how it could help in hostage situations by creating an electronic representation of a building, what he called a “digital twin.”
- Soldiers will be able to see clearly at night
- Helps in facial recognition on the battlefield
- Helpful in hostage situations
- Expected to help identify potential danger
Military officials believe that the latest technology will help advance the soldiers’ ability to see their surroundings in a better manner and will also enable them to identify potential targets and dangers. The army says that these Microsoft augmented reality headsets will be used for training as well as in battle. Additionally, the AR system could help troops gain an upper hand during battle.
Microsoft has been working with the US Army for the past two years on the prototyping phase of Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) – military-grade version of the HoloLens.
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