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How the U.S. military plans to use HoloLens 2 to gain an edge in warfare

When HoloLens, Microsoft's wearable augmented reality (AR) computer, debuted in 2015, the company demoed practical business applications, immersive games and more.

For the past four years, Microsoft has executed a methodic infrastructure-building deployment of AR computing as a hardware, software and services platform. This has resulted in the legitimization of HoloLens and AR computing as a practical computing solution within many sectors, including the U.S. military.

In 2017, Microsoft partnered with the U.S. military to use HoloLens to create wargame scenarios and provide soldiers with battlefield insights via AR simulations. Other military partnerships include ones with the Israeli military and Royal Australian Air Force, both of which studied how HoloLens could be used for planning and training. The Ukrainian military even tested HoloLens-enhanced helmets. Last year Microsoft won a $480 million contract to provide the U.S. military with custom HoloLenses for use on the battlefield, to make U.S. soldiers more efficient on the battlefield and to improve infantry survival rates.

HoloLens could ensure U.S. 'overmatches' enemies

Microsoft's controversial HoloLens partnership with the U.S. military is meant to address a problem. The disproportionately high rate of infantry squad deaths is the specific problem HoloLens is being procured by the U.S. military to solve. According to Colonel Daniel S. Roper, a retired U.S. officer, firstline forces — soldiers, Marines, and special forces — make up a mere four percent of the military but have accounted for 90-percent of military combat deaths since World War II.

These groups are at high risk because they engage in close combat or "ground combat within line of sight of the enemy (within 600 meters), which is characterized by extreme violence." Additionally, Roper shared that enemy forces have closed the gap in their effectiveness on the battlefield. Thus, the U.S. military's goal is to equip its infantry forces with HoloLens so that they can overmatch the enemy. From Department of Defense memorandum Establishment of the Close Combat Lethality Task Force (CCLTF):

The CCLTF will analyze and provide focused recommendation on Military Department and Military Service efforts to achieve overmatch to ensure infantry squads are never in a fair fight.

HoloLens is meant to support the military's goals to improve close-combat effectiveness and survivability across the six following domains:

  • sensing.
  • communication.
  • maneuvering.
  • attack.
  • survival.
  • sustainability.

The better to kill you with

According to (DoD) memorandum, Establishment of the Close Combat Lethality Task Force (CCLTF) the U.S. military plans to use HoloLens (AR) as part of a comprehensive platform to achieve increased lethality on the battlefield. Roper adds:

The ultimate objective of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) (formerly Heads Up Display (HUD) 3.0) program is to rapidly develop, test, and manufacture a single platform that Soldiers can use to Fight, Rehearse, and Train. This platform will provide increased Lethality, Mobility, and Situational Awareness.

A military grade HoloLens is expected to be tailored for close-combat use and, based on capabilities outlined by the Army for contract bidders, may enable a range of "sensory" augmentation capabilities such as:

  • allowing soldiers to see through dust, smoke and fog.
  • facial recognition.
  • lie detection.
  • night vision.
  • thermal sensing.
  • vital-sign reading.
  • concussion monitoring.
  • hearing protection.

Combined with a network-connected communication system, HoloLens-equipped U.S. troops may indeed outmatch enemy combatants. Ironically, HoloLens creator Alex Kipman often speaks of HoloLens as providing people with "superpowers." These military applications of the tech may be a dark representation of that vision.

Microsoft's CEO defends lethal allegiance

Humanity consistently exhibits a profound aptitude for finding (or forging) a path from using technology to help to using it to harm. Gun powder went from fireworks to ballistic firearms; nuclear power went from energy source to weapon of mass destruction; and HoloLens went from an amazing wearable computer for enterprise and potential future consumer use to enhancing a soldier's ability to kill.

Hundreds of Microsoft employees are backing a move to stop the battlefield applications of AR technology. From that petition:

The application of HoloLens within the [Integrated Visual Augmentation System] is designed to help people kill. It will be deployed on the battlefield and works by turning warfare into a simulated 'video game,' further distancing soldiers from the grim stakes of war and the reality of bloodshed.

Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella recently doubled down on the company's partnership with the military, stating in an CNN Business interview:

We had the dialogue…deliberated… and made a principled decision that we're not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

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This echoes Roper's stance:

The United States must do everything feasible to minimize the blood spilled by its front-line warriors fulfilling their indispensable role in defense of the nation.

The reality that the freedoms enjoyed in a democracy are often maintained by the high cost of war is a sad and difficult truth. Reconciling that truth with what technology should and shouldn't be used for in warfare, what responsibilities companies have, leaves much to be discussed.

Do you believe HoloLens should be used on the battlefield? Chime-in in the comments.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • I was wondering how Hololens would've been use in a combat environment and this looks to be a pretty cool use.
  • Ubisoft Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
  • Yes, because our enemies would use advanced technology if we didn't. It would be nice if we could negotiate differences instead of fighting for them but we haven't reached that level with every enemy yet. HoloLens could actually become a deterrent to fighting if it becomes what the military hopes for. Imagine that!
  • "It would be nice if we could negotiate differences instead of fighting for them" War is the continuation of politics by other means. - Carl von Clausewitz
  • Yeah or arguably human nature or just nature... Conflict, violence, dominance, and death are all present in nature... We just empathize way more than other species... One thing for sure is with the current demographic growth... We will need to go through a major process of elimination one way or an other to go back to sustainable state... It's just maths...
  • Yes, anything that gives our men and women an advantage is good. The stronger the US military, they less likely they will have to fight and fewer lives will be lost. Because I don't want people to die unnecessarily, I'm happy MS is helping our military be better, stronger, and smarter. Jason, I'm a fan your articles and thoughtful and thought-provoking Warditorials. In this case, however, your two examples of technology making it's way to military applications are reversed. In both case, the technology was invented for military applications and later found its way to more peaceful uses. Gun powder started as a way to make more potent flaming arrows, then was used to provide "night vision" for better fighting at night (centuries later memorialized in our national anthem, "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air..."), before ultimately being used in guns and artillery. Derivatives found their way to non military applications in the form of explosives used for mining and, of course, yes, fireworks too. Nuclear power was an offshoot from the atom bomb, developed as part of the Manhattan project to help the Allies win WWII. For Windows Central, you might also want to reference the Internet -- funding by DARPA. Another military innovation. Also relevant here, the original patent on the video game, ancestor of everything that runs on the Xbox -- created by Sanders Associates, originally for military training simulations. (Even the mechanics from the pen & paper game Dungeons & Dragons, father to all modern role playing games, emerged from paper-based war games.) I'm not suggesting that all tech starts with the military; that's certainly not the case. However, to the extent that government funding has been involved, aside from a small handfull of research funding through the CDC, and trivial R&D output from other departments, the vast, vast majority of tech that wasn't driven by a capitalist entrepreneur trying to find a new path to profit was driven by military spending to provide better tools for military applications.
  • Man, I couldn't agree more. Our military needs every advantage it can be given, because it's goal is to protect everyone here. As far as I know, there is no directive to kill without reason, which is why it's strange that the article claims that the headset will increase lethality. I also feel the need to point out that, as far as I'm aware, the USA is lagging far behind in cyber warfare, and that makes me feel like we need every extra bit of help we can get in other areas until we don't have to worry as much about infrastructure hacks, internal misinformation hacking, or who knows what else. Also, NH?
  • Yes, well said, Jake. I think Jason used the term "lethality" because one way the the military measures its strength is by the ability, per soldier, to inflict lethal force. Any advantage in a tactical combat situation, such as greater awareness of the location of an enemy, increases the effective lethality of the person wearing/using the HoloLens system, even if that capability is used defensively or used to exhibit such overwhelming force that the enemy surrenders rather than fights. Enemies are more likely to fight if they believe they can win. If they are certain they will lose, they are more likely to surrender, and lives are saved. Hence the point of using overwhelming force and shock-and-awe -- make it clear to the enemy that the only way to survive is surrender and fewer people die.
  • That is one way of looking at it but it does not address other factors such as the element of animosity that is created and not to mention bruised egos. As well the superiority complex of the "victor". There is no victor in conflict, everyone loses and everyone suffers in one shape or form.
  • This won't be popular but I am not brainwashed by MSM. How about the USA stops invading and destroying countries(Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen) for oil, resources and profit(hint military industrial complex). Don't forget about Vietnam or Japan. And if you want to bring up 9/11 the attackers were supposedly Saudi. Why didn't they go after them instead of Afghan and then Iraq? Because it was an inside job.
    And stop funding terrorism globally. And stop supporting regime changes and coups(Venezuela). Follow the above and maybe just maybe the troops would never be killed in the first place..... How about using the trillion dollar war budget back home instead to improve infrastructure such as roads, schools, hospitals, health care programs etc. Heck even use that money to help disabled vets/vets suffering from PTSD. Wait that's a crazy idea isn't it????? Delete my comment if you like but slowly people are finally waking up to the truth and are no longer being brainwashed by MSM. One good thing Trump has done was to call attention to all the garbage fake news the MSM has been feeding us for decades.
  • No one takes 9/11 truthers seriously. You are psychotic if you truly believe that BS. Not to mention your ridiculous fake news comment. Please go back to Infowars.
  • He didn´t say anything even remotely related to 911 truthers you noob. He just stated the obvious fact that the US has been inventing wars to promote its interest and specially to steal oil overseas and the current case of Venezuela is evident of this. I really hope Microsoft backs out of this since all the wars the US come up with are never to actually protect any of their "freedrom". Come on Satya, do the right thing
  • He literally said "And if you want to bring up 9/11 the attackers were supposedly Saudi. Why didn't they go after them instead of Afghan and then Iraq? Because it was an inside job." How is 9/11 being an "inside job" not 9/11 truther BS?
  • Sorry I missed the part where he said it was an inside job. I though his point was that the US used the attack on the trade center to attack the wrong countries (which it did) and stead their oil (which it did). I´m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, I just hate the US government who has a very long history of toppling democracies and putting dictators that follow their lead into power. This is exactly what it is trying to do in Venezuela as we speak. For this reason alone I really don´t want it to get any stronger than it already is.
  • Dare2Blink and jams_11, suggesting 9/11 is an "inside job" is about the most offensive thing you could post -- suggesting we hired people to destroy our business infrastructure (World Trade Center), and kill thousands of people there and in the Pentagon, along with the passengers of Flight 93. If you have compelling evidence that all of these were staged, and not carried out by the Saudi members of Al Queda following their flight training school infiltration, and consistent with the ongoing plan to do exactly what they did, demonstrated by the prior attempt to destroy the WTC by the bomb they set off in 1993, and the attack on the USS Cole, among others, then present your evidence. In my opinion, which is less informed than some, but more than most, I suggest you're a typical conspiracy crackpot who rejects Occam's Razor and logic. The further you get from the simplest explanation, the stronger the burden of proof to show why your fringe theory has merit. I have seen NOTHING that supports that theory, a far cry from the overwhelming evidence that would be needed to justify such an outlandish claim.
  • PNAC the partnership for a new American century literally called for another pearl harbor. Look into that before you throw around most offensive nonsense.
  • Indeed. US military doctrine seems to be that they want to kill more of the other side than kills your side, regardless of how many you lose. It's the old John Wayne, Gung Ho, approach. When married to failed US foreign policy I can see the argument for the Hololens approach. However this, the my opinion, is simply treating a symptom rather than a cause and as someone pointed out this follows a course of weapon development after weapon development. No, the solution lies in a US foreign policy that reduces the possibility of conflicts, reduces military spending and invests in infrastructure, health and education. Now if Nadella negotiated MS contracts for Hololens in these areas I might begin to believe that MS has a consciounce. As it stands, Nadella looks amoral.
  • Jason, normally I'm just turned off with your fearmongering, but your facts are also questionable at best. I mean, nuclear power, then nuclear bombs? Are you kidding? That is profoundly ignorant. Did you not take history class in high school? Have you never seen The History Channel? I think the critics of this deal between MS and the DOD have an important point, but you're definitely not the person to make it. It's called the Manhattan Project, by the way. And where are the editors? Is no one fact checking this dreck?
  • I mean, nuclear power, then nuclear bombs? Are you kidding? That is profoundly ignorant. Did you not take history class in high school? Have you never seen The History Channel? Scientists who discovered the magnitude of nuclear power, ultimately through nuclear fission, didn't do the research that uncovered this power initially for military purposes. The "power" they discovered was ultimately turned toward a bomb, but that wasn't the origin and initial driver of their work. Work toward a bomb ensued during WWII which resulted in: "...The reports also led to high level reviews in the USA, particularly by a Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, initially concentrating on the nuclear power aspect. Little emphasis was given to the bomb concept 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour and the Americans entered the war directly. The huge resources of the USA were then applied without reservation to developing atomic bombs." This ultimately led to the Manhattan Project. The Manahattan Project, however, was not the origin point for work with Nuclear power. You also say: I think the critics of this deal between MS and the DOD have an important point, but you're definitely not the person to make it. I'm not sure that I make a stand either way in this piece as a critic of the deal or supporter. I do candidly present the data of what Hololens will he used for, an whoband why its opposed. But you assume I'm opposed to it. I may or nay not be, but I don't say one way or the other in the piece, so your "chiding" me for "making the points for critics is presumptuous. Finally, if you disagree with something, my work or anyone else's, even if you're passionate about you stance, you can go do respectfully and honor the dignity we each possess. Ultimately, efforts to hurt, demean or rudly criticize others is a reflection of the "deliverer" of the treatment while the "recipient" is judged by his or her own response or conduct and not by the "box" or "frame" the insulter attempted to define them by.
  • Jason, taking the World Nuclear Association as proof that nuclear energy is not connected to nuclear bombs is like taking the tobacco industry at their word that smoking doesn't cause cancer. It's simply bullshit. If you want to prove a point, use respected sources.
  • I never said nuclear energy is not connected to nuclear bombs, of course it is. Nuclear fission is what creates the chain reaction for nuclear bombs. You're presenting a rebuttal to a point that no one here has made. My argument is the sequence of events that led to the exploration of nuclear energy. The scientists who began studying and researching it going back to late 1800s leading up to discoveries in the late 1930s (there were many around the world, not just in the US) did not all initiate and perpetuate that research into nuclear energy, or the power of the atom, solely for weaponization. After certain discoveries in late 30s world governments began investing more into the research as WW2 progressed. Still, there were those entities pursuing energy applications rather than weaponization. "The reports also led to high level reviews in the USA, particularly by a Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, initially concentrating on the nuclear power aspect. Little emphasis was given to the bomb concept 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour and the Americans entered the war directly. The huge resources of the USA were then applied without reservation to developing atomic bombs." Eventually nuclear powered subs and nuclear power stations were developed. And this where some readers confused my point. In retrospect I could have been clearer in the piece between nuclear power and nuclear power stations. My statement in the text nuclear power went from energy source to weapon of mass destruction was referencing initial research that recognized the energy potential of nuclear energy that preceeded both its applications in a bomb or power stations.
  • Jason, it is true that there was plenty of raw theoretical and experimental physics performed before the Manhattan Project that paved the way for that work. Most of the great physicists renowned for their work in Quantum Mechanics (Bohr, Planck, Heisenberg, etc.) plus Einstein contributed heavily long before WWII. But it was purely military budget that funded the work to make controlled and uncontrolled fission reactions a reality beyond pure research mode. Might this have happened anyway without the military, just at a slower pace? Perhaps. Certainly the science by this point predicted these effects, so one could argue it was just a matter of time, but even today, with modern technology, materials, and engineering, it's very difficult to build a nuclear reactor and isolate the requisite materials. Regardless of what MIGHT have happened without the military funding, it is incorrect to say that the the technology existed and was then used by the military for violent purposes. On the contrary, it was converted from theory and crude experiments to an engineering project first for military work, and only later, thanks to that execution, did it make its way to more peaceful and commercial applications.
  • Thanks for the well articulate feedback Granite😉 I still assert however, that the intent of the work regarding nuclear energy prior to military intervention was not for weaponization and this is my core point to the fallacy in human nature. What began as a path for good, humanity as is his propensity, turned it toward harm. Of course, nuclear power has been applied in beneficial ways since, but again, the core of original research for nuclear energy was not weaponization. Also to your earlier point about gunpowders origins as a means to create incindeary arrows. According to some sources gunpowders origins and applications predated the use in arrows,stating: The discovery of gunpowder is attributed to experimentation in Chinese alchemy by Taoists in the pursuit of immortality, and is popularly listed as osne of the "Four Great Inventions" of China It was later acknowledged as being used on arrows.
  • The heart of the discussion should not be limited to constraining military innovation critical for strategic combative advantage. What I saw at Barcelona is the birth of a more efficient information driven computer interface that will not only drive the creation of more jobs, but has the potential to make highly complex system underlying the inevitable worse case scenarios due to climate change easier to understand for the general public. If I am one of the fortunate employees working for Microsoft, I would lobby these 100+ talented people to engage for a higher purpose.
  • "Naturally"? Who on Earth wants to deny any advantage to Americans facing murderous savages in our defense?
  • That's gross, historically "savages" were a poor generalization... We are ALL savages.
  • I believe, that used effectively, this could potentially be used to limit engagements and blood shed with the proper application... It will definitely be a learning curve, as a species first and foremost. I may be naive tho
  • Congratulations, Jason, on making the dumbest article I've read on WC thus far. First, with WC's immature comments on the Huawei Laptop on YouTube and now this. You're the type of person who would be in favor of demilitarizing our military and then complain when no one is there to protect you during an invation. What a joke.
  • Hi Stevie I'm curious as to what measure you are using to qualify this article, in your estimation as the dumbest article on WC. As you say: You're the type of person who would be in favor of demilitarizing our military and then complain when no one is there to protect you during an invation. What a joke. Please, please, please point to where in this article I even allude to anything that would suggest to anyone that that would be my stance. And I suggest rerereading very carefully before replying. Then copy and paste whatever you're going to use to support your claim in your reply. You seem to presume I'm opposed to AR on the battlefield when I make no stance either way, for or against in the piece. What I do do in the piece is explain in detail from various sources, like a Department of Defense (DoD) memorandum "Why", and "How" Hololens will be used in the battlefield and "What" the desired result by the US military is. I also then include information from the opposing side, "Why" they oppose it and Nadella's reasons for supporting it. I then include a true statement of how humans often turn things that can be used to help to tools used to harm. And follow that statement with a very candid truth that the freedoms we enjoy in a democracy are often paid for with the cost of war. And then having made no stance either way, but having successfully presented some points from each side, and some things to think about, I posed the question to you readers, what is your opinion on the matter? Please, reread and again, provide support for your claims that I would be the type of person to demilitarize our country. 🤔That's preposterous and there is no basis for that claim, anywhere, in this piece. Perhaps, you succumbed to the sad, but true, reality that most people reading on the web rarely, VERY, rarely read word for word (I just found an article on this topic🤔) . They skim over content, skip enter portions but tell themselves and others they read an article. Having only partially consumed the content many still feel equipped to passionately comment on the content (much of which they didn't read). That's pretty presumptuous. Now just looking at the data as to how long most people spend on articles, yes, our data bear out those claims, most of you are not reading the full articles regardless of length. Not even this one written in a style with breaks and bullets to make consuming the content easier. Now, I can't say whether, you read the full piece or not, but your claim suggests to me that you didn't, or did so and misunderstood some things, or did so and made some assumptions not supported by the text. So, I ask, please reread and copy and paste what you feel leads you to believe the inaccurate claim you made. Thanks! 😉
  • Yeah, Jason, I too criticized your sequencing on nuclear R&D (funding was driven by military objectives from the start), but I agree with your statements here that you passed no judgement on the technology or its use by the military. I think this was a fine and objective piece, other than the factual mistakes about where the technology started.
  • Thanks, but again as I stated above, research in this field and the intent of the researchers in how I referenced that intent in the piece, it was not initially for weaponization, it went from energy source to a bomb. And that context is an important point in how I referenced the intent of our, scientists, quest with nuclear energy (not the building of nuclear power plants or subs) beginning one way but then, with militarily intervention being turned toward weaponization. The sequence is factually our quest into nuclear energy began with beneficial intent in mind and became a bomb when the military got involved with funding and directing research.
  • "First, with WC's immature comments on the Huawei Laptop on YouTube "
    I make those comments. They make me laugh and I've been making them for 10 years now. No way is "stevieguy91" changing my mind on that. My snark and sarcasm keeps me happy and sane. Whether YOU enjoy or approve of them is none of my concern and it never will be because I don't do the things in life for the approval of others, I just do what I want.
  • The military has been trying for this for a while, with their Land Warrior program. The idea was to make each soldier as effective and intimidating as a tank. With such overwhelming superiority, battles can often be avoided entirely because enemies know it would be stupid to fight.
  • These are just mere tolls!
  • Can't wait to see the opposing forces rock IR boosters to basically disable HoloLens.
  • IR boosters can blind the CCD cameras, but they wouldn't have any effect on the HUD info being relayed as the AR layer.
  • They would disable the depth sensing cameras, which means the AR layer would be a wall right in front of your eyes. I don't think that would be comfortable (and probably not even work, because right now HoloLens has a certain deadzone - If you are closer than a few feet to a hologram it just disappears).
  • Here's how it will be used. This article is nonsense.
  • Some of the comments here are incredibly disheartening as every single "benefit" that can be derived from this is fundamentally flawed. The use of advanced technology before the otherside does in conflict is what escalates violence and loss of innocent lifes. It's been consistently proven through time, the spear - you can only throw it once and it has limited range. The musket it is slow and fires on shot. Fast forward, there are disgusting amount of items that can do unspeakable levels of damage to innocent people. The use of advanced technology in conflict to protect democracy? Don't make me laugh, it is the most disgustingly retarded thing I ever heard. This fallacy emboldens others to use similiar or greater technology in conflict using that as excuse. In the end what happens? It's people who get stuck in the middle suffer and it is those very people who are made into scapegoats. When does it stop? No, really ask yourselfs what happens when the "otherside" uses similiar technology? Do you pursue greater avenues to accomplish the sadistic task of ending another's life? What happens when then other side does the same? Do you in turn keep going just because the "otherside" will get the upper hand? So ask yourself. when. does. it. stop?? Fear is not a healthy motivator, it perpetuates conflict ad infinitum. The only way forward to is to explore beyond the stars and work together to prevent climate change from damaging this beautiful planet irrevocably. There are those who benefit from conflict and thrive by keeping humanity away from it's best traits - compassion and understanding. It is this cohesive collective that has enabled us to reach for the moon, design self landing rockets, fly aeroplanes, push the boundaries of medical science, explore unknown places in the deep dark oceans just to name a few examples. The longer this infighting continues, the greatest threat to humanity goes unaddressed. What is that, you may ask. Simple. the ice melt that feeds the tributaries that feed into the streams and which feed into rivers. Are. Drying. Up. No ice melt = no river = no water = no irrigation = no food = more conflict = more refugees = strained resources = more conflict = more refugees = depleted resources = more conflict. Whilst this beatiful pale blue dot becomes a dust ball. We must stop using labels to define ourselves and start working together.
  • "Simple. the ice melt that feeds the tributaries that feed into the streams and which feed into rivers. Are. Drying. Up." No. They. Are. Not. You seem to think that all of the water on the planet comes from ice. That is an absurd supposition. An "ice age" is the natural state of Earth. The current warming trend - just like every other warm period in the past - is a relatively short-lived event. Warm periods generally last around 25,000 years. Glacial periods last around 125,000 years. Earth has been thru several eras of "climate change". It is a natural cycle. In a few thousand years, things will start cooling down again. There is nothing we can do about it, and it would be foolish to try. The current warm period started about 20,000 years ago. What do you suppose caused that? Humans burning coal? There are entire ancient cities under water around the Mediterranean. What do you suppose caused the rising sea levels? Evil Republicans driving SUVs? Again, this is a natural cycle. Glaciers melt. Sea levels rise. Glaciers grow. Sea levels drop. In fact, the current period has lower temps and lower sea levels than the previous warm period 125,000 years ago.
  • No I do not, think the all water comes from ice that is entirely you're projection of your own opinion of my words. That is not what I said, I said the source of these rivers are drying up and these rivers are the lifelines for many continents. If you wish to engage in a discussion then Please, check your subjective bias at the door and think objectively as well as holistically. The environment is a complex ecological system and it works in wonderous ways. However it's not entirely infallible, if old weather patterns start to change these can either have disasterous consequences or some what beneficial elements. For example, the gulf stream is what allows the tropical plants to be cultivated in Scotland, this is primarily due to current flow both in the air and the sea water. The latter, is wholly dependent on the salt levels in the water and so with the ice melting from the north and south poles. The water becomes less salty, thus affecting current flow. Which in turn affects the marine ecology who have fine tuned their behavioural habits on past flow cycles. This in turn affects fishermen whose entirely livelihood depends on the knowledge of marine life and cycles thus finding the best fishing spots. In regards to the eras of climate change, yes it's a natural cycle which occurs over millions of years where the for example carbon is trapped becomes crystalised and fossilised. That process is not happening - carbon is not being trapped it is being released on a global scale that has never occurred on the planet on a natural cycle with the current set of ecological traits. As there is no land based micro organism that is absorbing all the carbon and releasing free oxygen and at the same time we are losing trees to deforestation. Algae blooms in oceans can only do so much but at night time they do more damage then good as they suffocate everything around them thus slowly killing off the local marine ecology as they get bigger. No, the volcanic cycle does not count nor does the cycle of microrganisms saturating the atmosphere thus the planet with oxygen counter either. As each cycle is unique with it's own ecological traits. What is happening right now, is a coalascing number of factors that are causing severe weather patterns that are resulting in droughts, floods, forest fires, cold snaps that are causing frost bite. The only saving grace we have right now is that the migratory patterns of animals has not changed drastically yet. Because as the planet becomes warmer, all the trapped methane in cold peat bogs for example will be slowly released into the atmosphere.
  • Your argument for the typical cycle of the environmental change of warm (25, 000 years) and glacial (125, 000 years) ===> Ignor the health/survuval risks imposed to life on earth under an unprecedented high concentration of CO2 in Earth's life time history. Is human health robustness inherited from evolution capable of adapting to this complex interactions of this unprecedented high CO2 created over the last 200 years and the stress from the climate change. Will human have sufficient time to evolve within the next few decades to cope with this unprecedented combination of environmental stress in Earth history? All the climate discussions have so far ignored the evolution fitness of all life on earth under this unprecedented earth environment history created by us. Which agencies on Earth are tracking our capacity or weakness to cope? Would anyone like to pass these risks to their children or their children to find out thenselves?
  • @GeorgeOnArm. Nope, the time scale does not allow anything to evolve in the human biology, without drastic gene editing which has major moral and ethical ramifications.
  • How we could aim for a higher purpose? For the next few weeks, the world is still fresh with the 100+ Microsoft employees who has submitted the letter. If one of them read these discussions here and is able to lobby these 100+ and pivot them towards supporting a more effective collaboration on climate change assisted by hololens 2, followed by press coverage how this corporate conflict ends up a good ending... All time and effort by anyone around the activities triggered by the letter has led to a positive impact and not wasted👍
  • I agree wholeheartedly, we should also be using advanced technology to reduce the lethality of conflict and not increase it. Increased lethality perpetuates conflict, the only way to break that cycle is to reduce the lethality of conflict. Such as elements that stun and disarm not destroy thus more lives are saved, not to mention the veterans suffering PTSD is drastically reduced. That's what most don't get when they romantise conflict, it's not a game it's people's lives. There is no "shock and awe" there is only fear and rage in conflict thus ultimately no one wins and everyone suffers in one way or another.
  • Granted. I see and understand your points. So, while you speak to the humans outside your doors of influence, I'll be happy to stand behind you holding my shock and awe, just in case you need it. As an American era veteran of two wars, I understand the value of knowledge, technology, armed force and it's use to protect educated people of government, science and technology from harm. If we didn't, how would you be able to reduce the lethality of conflict given that you have to overcome those that will kill you because of your ideologies. I am not romantic and I do understand it's not a game.
  • Given my knowledge working with (ESIGINT) Electronics Signals Intelligence, I would say that this technology has long been a part of the military R & D for many years past. That the civilian sector of our business communities are are cooperating with our nation's warriors is no surprise. They are aware of the extensive knowledge and experience the military has given them in the AR arena. That they are cooperating is testament to our commitment as Americans to suppress our enemies capabilities to do our nation harm. As an American veteran, it does not surprise me.
  • I am all in for those that want to educate and create a cleaner, brighter and better environment for peoples all over this planet. However, while you are trying to sell your snake oils and remedies to the savage humans that seek to kill you because of your color, race, creed, religion (or lack of) or nationality, who will stand behind you to make sure they don't permanently end your need to save humans from themselves.