The US military has encouraged non-traditional military providers such as Microsoft, Magic Leap and others to bid. She was looking for a device for night vision, the ability to measure breathing and other vital signs, to protect hearing and to monitor signs of concussion. It's unclear how Microsoft will bring these features to Hololens.
"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with better information to make decisions.This new work expands our long-standing trust with the Department of Defense in this new field," said Microsoft. Bloomberg in a report.
The headset has never really been sold as a consumer product, but it is popular with companies for manufacturing, training, marketing and other reasons. It has also been used by ISS astronauts (above) for training and troubleshooting household chores.
According to a recent Microsoft video, only about 50,000 units have been sold to date. In contrast, the US military could buy up to 100,000 headphones, three times more sales. For now, HoloLens will cost developers $ 3,000 or businesses $ 5,000 for commercial use. Microsoft would release a new, cheaper model in early 2019. Whatever the case may be, the US military is not known to pay retail prices, and the contract will undoubtedly include development. software and other services.
Google has been heavily criticized by its staff, including its employees, for its military contract with the Maven AI project. It is not clear if Microsoft will get the same kind of reaction on the Hololens supply contract, which will be used in real combat. Microsoft employees recently signed a petition criticizing his contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
However, Microsoft recently said the company would not stop selling software to the US military. Last month, Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, wrote that employees with ethical concerns would be allowed to change projects.
"We understood that no soldier in the world wanted to wake up to discover that machines had started a war," he said. "But we can not expect these new developments to be handled wisely if technology players who know the technology better get out of the conversation."