This past Wednesday, the U.S. Army announced that Microsoft has won a contract to build more than 120,000 custom HoloLens augmented reality headsets, which could be worth up to $21.88 billion over the next decade. This particular headset is intended to keep soldiers more protected as well as cause them to be more effective.
The program provides situational awareness as well as the sharing of information and enhanced decision-making in many different types of scenarios.
Working closely alongside Microsoft, the U.S. Army has been given the appropriate tools in order to make this new phenomenon possible. The HoloLens, at a cost of $3,500, allows people to view holograms above where they are standing and to make interactions with the usage of hand and voice. IVAS prototypes that were attempted in 2019 showed the display of a map and a compass; it also had thermal imaging so that people can be displayed who may be in the dark. Aims for weapons can additionally be demonstrated.
Alex Kipman, a technical fellow at Microsoft, as well as the individual who introduced the HoloLens in 2015, wrote in a blog post, "The IVAS headset, based on HoloLens and augmented by Microsoft Azure cloud services, delivers a platform that will keep soldiers safer and make them more effective."
The piece of equipment also allows soldiers to fight, rehearse, and train all in one system, according to the U.S. Army. Because of this deal between Microsoft and the Army, Microsoft will likely be a more successful supplier of technology to the U.S. Military.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated, regarding the augmented reality project, "We made a principled decision that we're not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy."
The contract between the U.S. Army and Microsoft is one that will prove to be beneficial for both parties. Microsoft will be a more successful supplier of technology, while the U.S. Army will gain further means of protection as well as effectiveness. If all continues as it has been, then the partnership will prove to be a true success in future endeavors, thus enhancing the experiences of those within the company of Microsoft as well as in the U.S. Army.