The US Army encouraged non-traditional military suppliers like Microsoft, Magic Leap and others to bid on the contract. Det ville være et apparat som kunne tillade nattvision, evne til at måle åndedræt og andre vitale tegn, tilbyde hørselsbeskyttelse og monitor for tegn på hjernerystelse.
"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area. , "Microsoft told Bloomberg in a statement.
The headset has never really been sold as a consumer product, but it's popular with manufacturing, training, marketing and other purposes. It has also been used by ISS astronauts (above) for training and troubleshooting chores.
Only about 50,000 units have been sold so far, according to a recent Microsoft video. By contrast, the US Army might buy as many as 100,000 headsets, essentially tripling sales. At the moment, the HoloLens goes for $ 3,000 to developers or $ 5,000 for businesses to use commercially. Microsoft will reportedly release a new, cheaper model in early 2019. In any case, the US Army is not exactly known for paying retail prices, and the contract will no doubt include software development and other services.
Google was heavily criticized , in particular by its employees, for its Project Maven AI military contract, and elected to pass on a $ 10 billion Pentagon AI Cloud contract by principal. Det er ikke klart om Microsoft vil få den samme typen av pushback på kontraktet om at levere Hololens enheder, som vil blive anvendt i live kamp. Microsoft employees recently signed a petition to criticize its contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Microsoft recently said, however, that the company would not stop selling software to the US military. President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith wrote last month that employees with ethical concerns would be allowed to switch projects.
"We have appreciated that no military in the world wants to wake up to discover that machines have started a war," he said. "But we can not expect these new developments to be addressed wisely if the people in the tech sector who know the most about technology withdraw from the conversation."