Microsoft and the United States Army have reached an agreement of collaboration for which the technology company will sell to the military force a total of 120,000 augmented reality glasses that will serve to “keep soldiers safe and make them more effective.” The contract amounts to $ 21,880 million, as indicated by Techcrunch, and will remain active for the next ten years.
The glasses that Microsoft has sold to the US military are the IVAS (Integrated Visual Augmentation System), a system based on his famous HoloLens combined with Microsoft Azure cloud services: “The program offers a greater perception of the situation, which allows the exchange of information and decision-making in a variety of settings,” explains Alex Kipman, Microsoft, in an article published on the company’s official blog.
A controversial collaboration
This contract expands one that was already signed in 2018 worth 480 million dollars and that at that time it made quite a lot of noise, especially by the complaint from technology company employees, who protested after the collaboration was made public: “We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to bring weapons technology to the US military helping a country’s government improve its ability to kill using the tools we build. We do not sign to develop weapons and we ask for an opinion when deciding how our work is used, “they said in an open letter addressed to Satya Nadella, CEO de Microsoft who shortly after defended the military use of the HoloLens.
The collaboration between Microsoft and the US military goes back a long way: “Microsoft has worked closely with the United States military. During the last two years, and together we pioneered soldier-centered design to enable rapid prototyping of a product to provide soldiers with the tools and capabilities necessary to accomplish their mission, “he says in the article. After these two years of work, the prototyping phase is finished and now they touch the last two stages of the project: production and distribution.
For many prototypes of Pokmon GO that we have seen recently, HoloLens has long ceased to be a technology focused on video games: in its beginnings, all by 2015, was presented with prototypes like that famous one from Minecraft that it presented a malleable scenario in augmented reality; years later Microsoft was turning the intention of the project to focus on a more business use and in fact its latest version, the HoloLens 2 presented in 2019, went on sale at a price of 3500 dlares or as part of a subscription service for $ 125 a month.