Microsoft is providing the US military with augmented reality technology


Microsoft has won a contract to supply the US military with HoloLens-based headphones, as the software giant has worked with the military since 2018. The contract could be worth $ 21.88 billion over 10 years, and it includes providing Microsoft with 120,000 glasses.

The announcement follows a $ 480 million deal between Microsoft and the Department of Defense in 2018 to develop the Integrated Enhanced Visual System (IVAS) based on the standard $ 3,500 HoloLens glasses enhanced using Azure Cloud Services.

The program offers enhanced situation awareness, enabling information sharing and decision making in a variety of scenarios, and allowing commanders to effectively share data and tactical goals with soldiers in the field as well as providing night vision capabilities. The move was met with fierce resistance from some of the company's employees, forcing the CEO (Satya Nadella) to respond.

However, the resistance hasn't stopped the U.S. Department of Defense and Microsoft from working together on these new headphones.

Alex Kipman, the inventor of HoloLens, said, Microsoft has worked closely with the US military over the past two years, and together we have taken a pioneering role in soldier-centred design to enable rapid prototyping of a product to provide soldiers with the tools and capabilities needed to fulfil their mission.

A US Army statement reads, The system makes use of augmented reality and machine learning to enable a life-like mixed reality training environment where close combat power can train.

In February, the US Army revealed how a newer, more solid version of the head-up display could allow armoured vehicle operators to see the walls of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

A previous version was criticized for poor sensor and GPS performance, but the design has now changed slightly.

HoloLens hasn't seen any significant hardware changes since the second release of Microsoft's mixed reality glasses, which launched in 2019.

Microsoft is gradually improving the software aspect of HoloLens, along with gesture improvements.

Early wave business models from augmented reality glasses such as HoloLens, Google Glass and Spectacles are shifting from end-users to commercial, industrial and military applications.

The information indicates that nearly a fifth of Facebook employees works on VR and AR, and Apple has assigned its former hardware official to oversee AR and VR, while Samsung, Qualcomm and Snap are recently offering more prototypes.

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