Sci-tech

Microsoft snags $480m US Army hardware contract - Audio Visual

Microsoft snags $480m US Army hardware contract - Audio Visual”

Yes, this purchase isn't for training, simulations, or support operations like repairs, engineering and field medics but meant to "increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy". While we gave the upper hand to Magic Leap, Microsoft ended up winning the contract.

The US Army already uses HoloLens headsets for training exercises, but the new deal means that specially-tailored versions could be used in live combat situations.

The new contract will continue Microsoft's relationship with the Department of Defense. By contrast, the US Army might buy as many as 100,000 headsets, essentially tripling sales.

"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions", Microsoft said in a statement. As it relates to navigation, one of the benefits for a soldier in the heat of combat is being able to look at a digital map without looking down at a separate digital device. The technology industry's cooperation with the USA military and law enforcement has become increasingly tense over the previous year, with employees at companies like Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Amazon.com Inc. pushing back against government contracts.

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The headset used for the experiments are expected to be significantly upgraded, featuring night vision and thermal sensing, measure vital signs like breathing and "readiness", monitor for concussions and offer hearing protection. However, there could be pushback against this contract-and it's as likely to come from Microsoft employees themselves as from external groups. He reaffirmed that "Microsoft will be engaged" with the USA military. The solution? Move uneasy staff members to other projects, Microsoft president Brad Smith said last month.

"As is always the case, if our employees want to work on a different project or team-for whatever reason-we want them to know we support talent mobility".

The contract went though a bidding process created to encourage the Army to do business with companies who aren't traditional defense contractors.



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