After years of testing and modifications, the US military is moving forward with Microsoft’s modified version of HoloLens 2.
In separate announcements published Wednesday, the US military gave permission to move from rapid prototyping to production and rapid field testing.
According to a statement, the military officially awarded the contract to Microsoft on March 26. A Microsoft spokesperson revealed that the deal is worth more than $ 21 billion in ten years. Microsoft beat Magic Leap on the original $ 488 million contract to develop the headset in 2018.
The modified HoloLens, also known as the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), contains sensors for night and thermal vision to deliver data intended to improve situational awareness, targeting and decision-making in the heat of battle. The headset also runs training applications that simulate battlefield environments prior to a mission. The headsets work in conjunction with Microsoft Azure cloud services.
“Microsoft has worked closely with the US military for the past two years and together we have developed Soldier Centered Design to enable rapid product prototyping to provide Soldiers with the tools and capabilities needed to accomplish their mission,” said Alex Kipman, technical assistant. at Microsoft, in a statement. “We appreciate working with the US Army and are grateful for their continued confidence in IVAS’s transition from rapid prototyping to rapid fielding. We look forward to building on this successful partnership with the men and women of the US Army. Combat Force. “
One of the additional benefits of this project to the private sector is the additional research and development Microsoft has gained from military funding during the prototype phase. Microsoft will be able to apply what has been learned to future editions of HoloLens, where we can expect improvements in areas such as size, battery life and interactivity.
So while the only way to try out an IVAS for yourself would be to join the military, you’ll still reap the benefits in the future, but probably without the night vision.