What you need to know
- In March 2021, Microsoft won a U.S. Army contract to produce up to $21.88 billion of soldier-attuned augmented reality headsets.
- The deal still stands, though delivery times have been pushed back, with field units now expected by September 2022.
Microsoft's sizeable augmented reality headset deal with the U.S. Army, which was awarded in March 2021 to the tune of up to $21.88 billion, has had its dates adjusted. Deployment of the first Microsoft headsets (sometimes referred to as glasses, as those are a prominent component of the tech) is now expected to occur by September 2022.
As reported by Reuters, the previous date the U.S. Army was aiming for has already passed: September 30, 2021. The new date effectively gives the Army and Microsoft an extra year to get their affairs in order.
These headsets are based on Microsoft's HoloLens technology and will give soldiers numerous tactical benefits. These include enhanced night vision and thermal vision, in addition to other unspecified "situational awareness capabilities." And that's not all. The headsets, which have been dubbed IVAS (Integrated Audio Visual System), will also have sensors that enable soldiers to scope out threats before actually putting any lives in harm's way.
Not everyone at Microsoft is happy about the IVAS deal. Some employees have frowned at the idea of their company utilizing its resources to develop tools of war.
This isn't the only government-entangled deal Microsoft's faced opposition over. Its surveillance technology deals even managed to ruffle shareholder feathers not too long ago, hence why the company voluntarily agreed to cue up a third-party investigation to determine if its tech, stated corporate values, and general human rights were in opposition with one another.
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Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.