IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Microsoft wins $480M contract to provide US Army with HoloLens headsets for combat use

Microsoft could provide the Army with up to 100,000 headsets for thermal imaging and to measure soldiers' vital signs

Microsoft will be supplying the US Army with HoloLens headsets for use in battle, it has been revealed.

The tech giant has won the contract, worth $480 million, with its augmented reality headsets to be used during combat missions and as well as for training purposes.

Although the specifics of the deal haven't been confirmed by Microsoft, Bloomberg reports that the US government may buy as many as 100,000 headsets to supply its troops - twice as many as Microsoft has reportedly sold to businesses and developers.

They will be used as part of a wider Army programme, known as the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, to "increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy" the government explained.

"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area," a Microsoft spokesman added.

Although the US government has already been using augmented reality to train troops, this is the first time Microsoft's technology will be used in real combat. But it's unlikely its technology will be used to directly inflict harm.

The Army explained the HoloLens wouldn't be used to actively fight opponents, but it would offer thermal imaging capabilities, to measure the health of soldiers and monitor for potential injuries, such as hearing problems or concussion.

Microsoft won the contract after it was invited to put forward a proposal alongside other augmented reality leaders including Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Microsoft has come under fire by its own employees in the past for selling technology to the government. Earlier this year, its employees wrote a letter objecting to an AI contract with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Most Popular

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline
Security

Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline

30 Jun 2022
FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
data protection

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores

29 Jun 2022