I have awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract with the US military for a pair of reality glasses lined with 100,000 soldiers.
While the contract not publicly announced on the U.S. Department of Defense's website, the military claims the contract will provide the military with "prototypes for enhanced reality systems" for both combat and training missions.
A description from the Army contract documents states that the U.S. Department of Defense should strive to "accelerate its lethal defense and defense capabilities while utilizing innovative components, including commercial items, and in particular, an integrated visual system that enhances the capabilities of soldiers on the battlefield."
The contract, Bloomberg states, contains several additional conditions for the winner: the device must be able to combine things like night vision and thermal sensing, be able to measure vital signs such as breath and combat readiness, and monitor the concussion and offer hearing protection - of course not all capabilities exist, But Microsoft is working on it.
HoloLens highly refined for use with basic goggles, IP50 rating for water and dust protection, and can also fit in helmets and hats
Rigid, making it an ideal candidate for a retrofitted consumer device with a government-supplied kit.
"Augmented reality technology will provide soldiers with better and better information to decide. This additional fact extends our long-standing relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area," Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.
The company did not release any other public comments on the contract, but Microsoft CEO Saya Nadella said in a recent statement that the company said the most important thing was to equip soldiers with the latest technology or as it says:
"With a powerful defense of the United States and its soldiers and it is very important to give the military access to the best technology in the country, including from Microsoft."
According to information released by the European Patent Office (EPO) in May, Microsoft has sold about 50,000 HoloLens units - half the number
Stipulated in the army contract. This is a powerful incentive for Microsoft to produce state-of-the-art laminated reality glasses.