A contract worth $480 million has been awarded to Microsoft that will see it supply up to 100,000 modified HoloLens headsets for use in training and combat situations. According to documents for the Army's Integrated Visual Augmentation System project, the goal is to "manufacture a single platform that soldiers can use to fight, rehearse, and train". The ambitions for the project are high.
The Redmond, Washington based tech giant will be providing prototypes of its augmented reality headset, for the Army to use in combat missions and in training.
Under the terms of the contract, Microsoft is expected to deliver 2,500 headsets within two years that meet the criteria set out by the Army. Tenders that Microsoft beat out for the military contract included Magic Leap. The contract, which could eventually lead to the military purchasing over 100,000 headsets, is meant to "increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy", according to a government description of the program.
"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions", a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement. "This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area", Microsoft told Bloomberg.
Microsoft's bet on HoloLens looks to be paying off. The company a Development Edition of the headset for $3,000 and a Software Suite version for $5,000.
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Microsoft and many other Seattle and Silicon Valley companies have been running into opposition from employees to dealing with the US Military over humanitarian concerns.
Unlike Google, which has recently ended contracts with the USA government over after employee objections, Microsoft is taking a.
Later that month, Microsoft's President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, said the company would continue to sell software to the US military.