In November, we learned that Microsoft won a $ 479 million contract to supply the US Army. UU A version of its HoloLens augmented reality headsets, a move Microsoft's own employees rejected this February, prompting CEO Satya Nadella to respond.
Now, for the first time, we are seeing what those hundreds of millions of dollars really bought.
CNBC had an exclusive vision of an initial draft of the Integrated Visual Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) of the Army, which turned out to be a modified version of the new HoloLens 2 for soldiers. Physically, it looks almost identical to the commercial headset: keep the new FLIR thermal camera mounted prominently on a user's forehead.
But what counts inside the glasses is what counts, and CNBC reports that this prototype of the future of war is practically what first-person shooter video games have imagined for years. There is a heads-up screen that can show the exact heading of your compass just above your field of vision and your position on a virtual map in relation to your squadmates, not to mention a virtual grid similar to a video game to show the direction to which you are pointing. gun – and that FLIR thermal camera allows the headset to be bent as a set of thermal / night vision lenses to see enemies through bushes and smoke.
Here is our video about the normal version of HoloLens 2, for comparison:
It is clear According to the CNBC report, which includes interviews with Army officers and soldiers, it is clear that headphones are a tool of war what you would expect, which probably will not alleviate the concerns of employees who believe that Microsoft should not be in that. work line.
Initially, the US Army UU He requested a few thousand headphones, although Reuters later reported that the military could eventually buy more than 100,000 of them. The Army told CNBC that it expects to send it to "thousands and thousands of soldiers of the force" from 2022, and deploy it by 2028.
You can read CNBC's full story here.
And if you're curious, here's a great document that describes what the Army expects to achieve with this handset: