US Army says 'no thanks' to buying more HoloLens devices this year, demands several hardware improvements first

HoloLens 2 with phone
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • A new report from Bloomberg says the US Army isn't happy with the military-grade version of HoloLens.
  • It has requested a new version with improvements that address complaits around discomfort.
  • The US Army is refusing to purchase more headsets until this new version is complete.

A new report from Bloomberg today has revealed that the US Army will not be placing any more orders for Microsoft's military-grade version of HoloLens this fiscal year, after field testing last year left 70 Army infantry soldiers with headaches and other discomforts. 

The Bloomberg report states:

"Congress [has] rejected the US Army’s request for $400 million to buy as many as 6,900 of them this fiscal year. The rejection of the request, in the $1.75 trillion government funding bill, reflects concern over field tests of the goggles, which are adapted from Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets. The tests disclosed “mission-affecting physical impairments” including headaches, eyestrain and nausea."

Instead, $40 million will be spent on building a new model that focuses on improvements in these areas. Bloomberg says this new model is labeled as "version 1.2" and will address "physiological impacts identified during testing, and a lower profile Heads-Up Display with distributed counterweight for improved user interface and comfort."

The new version will also include software updates for better reliability and reduced power consumption. Test results from the Army said that soldiers wearing the HoloLens headset experiences discomfort after less than three hours of usage. 

The news comes after a series of blows for the HoloLens division, starting last year when it was reported that Microsoft had canceled HoloLens 3, leaving the org rudderless as to what was coming next. Then, HoloLens lead Alex Kipman left Microsoft after a number of accusations about his behavior were made. 

Just recently, Microsoft said that its customers were not interested in a new version of HoloLens at this time, pointing to the HoloLens 2 as being an excelllent product that's still on the market and fully supported by Microsoft.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.