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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
March 31, 2021.

HoloLens enrolls in the army


IVAS. © Microsoft.

The US Army announced that it has awarded Microsoft a contract to build over 120,000 augmented reality headsets. This deal could amount to US$ 21.9 billion over 10 years, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. With the standard HoloLens, which costs US$ 3,500, users can see virtual objects superimposed on the real environment and interact with them through voice and hand gestures. The military version, called IVAS (Integrated Visual Augmentation System), is more sophisticated and offers useful functions for operations such as thermal imaging to see people in the dark or for visual target acquisition and locking. The purpose of the headset is, in military parlance, to improve soldiers’ “lethality, mobility and situational awareness.” It would also offer a combat simulator for training.

Microsoft is proving to be an important technology supplier for the US military. In 2019, the company won a multibillion-dollar contract to provide cloud services to the Department of Defense, beating Amazon, the market leader.

CNBC, Jordan Novet, “Microsoft wins U.S. Army contract for augmented reality headsets, worth up to $21.9 billion over 10 years.”

Ars Technica, Sam Machkovech, “HoloLens for 120,000 Army personnel: Microsoft inks $21.9 billion deal.”



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