Microsoft HoloLens gets US$480M contract for special combat variant
Microsoft’s bet on HoloLens looks to be paying off. Already starting to make inroads into enterprise, the Redmond giant has just scored a US$480 million contract for a custom variant of the augmented reality headset which they definitely won’t be using to play Minecraft. The custom variant will be designed to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy,” meaning that future soldiers will be taking these into the battlefield.
According to Bloomberg, the US Army and the Israeli military have already been trialling the HoloLens in training. Currently priced at US$5000 each for the standard model, the military version will be upgraded with night vision capabilities, thermal sensing, will offer hearing protection and will be able to measure vital signs including a soldier’s combat readiness. It will be like playing a futuristic video game, but with real life or death consequences.
Bloomberg reports that should everything go according to plan, the military order may end up totaling over 100,000 units. Tenders that Microsoft beat out for the military contract included Magic Leap. Currently, Microsoft is said to have sold around 50,000 HoloLens headsets where they have been successfully deployed by companies to speed up the development and design process.