- The US Army may acquire up to 100,000 HoloLens AR headsets from Microsoft for combat and training purposes.
- Microsoft won a bidding process against companies like Magic Leap to secure the deal.
- The contracted headsets will be different from the commercial units with thermal sensing and night vision included.
After months of bidding, Microsoft has been awarded a contract that will see the tech giant supplying as many as 100,000 HoloLens to the US Army. HoloLens is an augmented reality headset that is commercially available, and the US Army seeks to take advantage of the technology for training and combat. The bidding process began in September and Microsoft managed to beat competitors like Magic Leap to secure the contract.
The HoloLens units that will be supplied to the US Army by Microsoft will be quite different from what you can pick up from the consumer market. They will come packed with thermal sensors and night vision technology embedded for combat usage. The military units will not be available commercially for citizens.
Microsoft’s spokesperson revealed: “This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the department of defense to this new area. Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area.”
Relationships between tech companies and the US military has been shaky as of late with employees from companies like Google and Amazon objecting to military and government deals. Amazon employees appealed against the company’s decision to supply facial recognition software to the government while Google recently pulled out of a $10 billion contract bidding process for the Pentagon, while Microsoft is still competing for the deal.