- Microsoft has been awarded a nearly $22 billion contract to supply its virtual reality headsets to U.S. Army combat troops. The deal was confirmed separately by Microsoft and the Army on Wednesday.
- People can see virtual imagery superimposed on the real environment in front of them with Microsoft’s HoloLens screens, which can be everything from holograms in virtual game worlds to repair instructions floating over a damaged gadget. Users may use hand movements or voice commands to control what they see.
The system is based on Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets designed for use in the video game and film industries.
According to Pentagon officials, the futuristic technology, known as the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, is meant to improve soldiers’ knowledge of their surroundings and their ability to detect targets and threats.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality is an interesting topic, people will see virtual imagery superimposed on the real environment in front of them with Microsoft’s HoloLens screens, which can be everything from holograms in virtual game worlds to repair instructions floating over a damaged gadget. Users may use hand movements or voice commands to control what they see.
Soldiers tested the devices last year at Fort Pickett in Virginia, according to the Army’s website. According to the paper, the device could help troops gain an advantage “on increasingly urban, congested, dark, and volatile battlefields.”
Microsoft’s billion-dollar deal.
With a $480 million contract, the Army started testing Microsoft’s device in 2018, claiming that the headsets can be used for both training and combat. Microsoft will be able to mass-manufacture units for more than 120,000 soldiers in the Army Close Combat Force under the new deal. According to Microsoft, the value is worth up to $21.88 billion for the next ten years, with a five-year base agreement that the U.S. can extend for another five years.
The technology could combine thermal night vision and facial recognition to provide soldiers with “real-time analytics” on remote battlefields, Microsoft President Brad Smith told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February. He also explained how creating a “digital twin” of the building could help plan a hostage rescue operation.
In 2019, a group of Microsoft employees petitioned the company to revoke its initial Army contract, alleging that it would turn real-life battlefields into a video game.
Over the past decade, many tech giants have attempted to stun the gaming community with glitzy new virtual reality goggles, but their attempts have largely failed. Microsoft’s second-generation HoloLens 2, released in 2019 and served as the Army’s latest gadgets’ foundation, shifted away from consumer apps.
Applications of Augmented Reality
While Microsoft recently demonstrated how to use the goggles to play the popular game Pokemon Go, the company primarily promotes the devices as work tools for surgeons, factory workers, and other professionals.
The dispute gets solved.
Microsoft’s job as a defence contractor includes the headset offers. Although the work was delayed by a legal dispute over rival Amazon’s assertion that the bidding process was flawed, the Pentagon reaffirmed Microsoft as the winner of a cloud computing deal worth up to $10 billion in September