Microsoft HoloLens to be used by the US Army in live combat missions and training

The augmented reality headset is off to fight another battle
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The Microsoft HoloLens is set to be used in live combat missions and training by the US Army, with the Redmond giant receiving a $480 million contract to supply the augmented reality headset.

The device has already firmly established itself as a new-age learning tool, finding its way into the operating theatre, classroom and factory over the past couple of years.

Read this: What we know about Microsoft HoloLens 2

This new venture, though, is a significant step up from what we've seen previously, with the US government keen on finding a headset that could allow for night vision, the ability to measure vital signs, bring hearing protection and monitor for signs of concussion.

Interestingly, at least from what we know of HoloLens in its current form, these aren't features it's able to offer. However, with the Department of Defense opening this contract up to non-traditional military suppliers, it seems clear that the company was able to sell the capabilities of its technology in a combat environment.

If we're guessing, that may involve a bespoke headset for the army based upon an updated version of the headset, something that's already heavily rumored for release in 2019.

Of course, despite the technology being around since 2016, we've seen it take a different path to other AR headsets. Instead of trying to appeal to consumers, Microsoft indicates that the 50,000 shifted units has been in the business sector. And, naturally, that number is set to spike with the US Army's investment of potentially 100,000 devices. This represents the biggest backing of the headset so far.

When will we see the fruits of the partnership hit the battlefield? As you might expect, the timeline isn't yet clear, but we look forward to monitoring this one as the months roll on.

Source: Bloomberg

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Conor Allison

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Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 


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