Microsoft wins $ 22 billion in making headsets for the U.S. Army

Microsoft has won a deal of about $ 22 billion Supply to U.S. Army combat units With an augmented reality headset.

Microsoft and the Army Announcement of separate transaction Wednesday.

This technology is based on Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, which was originally intended for the video gaming and entertainment industry.

Pentagon officials describe a future technology that the Army calls an integrated vision enhancement system as a way to increase awareness around soldiers and their ability to find targets and dangers.

With Microsoft’s head-mounted HoloLens display, you can overlay virtual images on the physical world in front of you, from holograms in the virtual game world to repair procedures floating on broken gadgets. Users can control what is displayed using hand gestures or voice commands.

Soldiers tested gadgets at Fort Pickett, Virginia last year, according to the Army’s website. He said the system could help the military gain an edge “in increasingly urban, crowded, dark and unpredictable battlefields.”

The Army began testing Microsoft’s system in 2018 with a $ 480 million contract, stating that the headset can be used for both training and actual combat. The new contract will allow Microsoft to mass-produce more than 120,000 soldier units in Army close quarters combat units. Microsoft said the deal could reach up to $ 21.88 billion over the next 10 years, and the five-year base contract could be extended for another five years.

Microsoft President Brad Smith told the Senate Military Commission in February that the system could integrate thermal night vision and facial recognition to provide soldiers with “real-time analysis” on the remote battlefield. He also explained how creating a “digital twin” of the building could help plan hostage rescue operations.

In 2019, a group of Microsoft workers petitioned the company to cancel its first Army contract, claiming to turn the real battlefield into a video game.

Microsoft is one of several tech companies that have been trying to surprise the gaming world with flashy new virtual reality goggles for the past decade, but that effort has failed significantly. Microsoft has moved away from the second-generation HoloLens 2 consumer application introduced in 2019. This is the foundation of the Army’s new gadget.

Microsoft recently showed how to use goggles to play the hit game Pokemon Go, but most often tout the device as a working tool to assist surgeons, factory crew, and more.

Headset trading is part of Microsoft’s broader commitment as a contractor in the defense industry. In September, the Pentagon reaffirmed Microsoft as a potential winner of a $ 10 billion worth of cloud computing contracts, although work was delayed by a court battle over rival Amazon’s claim that the bidding process was flawed.

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