Microsoft and its HoloLens Military Contract
Microsoft’s partnership with the US military has further strengthened and expanded as their contract has reached a whopping $22 billion. MS has now entered the production phase on augmented reality headsets for the US military.
It was back in 2018 when MS won the $479 million contract related to the production of augmented reality headsets. As of now, a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters that the deal could now reach $21.88 billion over ten years.
Microsoft’s technical fellow Alex Kipman confirmed in a recent blog post about the production phase of the military headset. He said that the company is in close collaboration with the army for the past two years. The collaboration is on prototyping the Integrated Visual Augmented System (IVAS), a technology that is based on both HoloLens and Azure cloud services. He further made a claim about the device that it “delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios.”
On the contrary, in 2019 a group of MS employees called Microsoft Workers 4 Good posted an open letter to CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith. The letter demanded that the military contract be canceled.
The group argued that the team behind the development of HoloLens believed that this technology could be used to serve humanity. It will help architects, surgeons, engineers, and other professionals in a non-harmful manner. Another core objective of this technology was to further push the boundaries of gaming. The team is against the deployment of HoloLens technology on the battlefield.
Nadella, on the other hand, defended the contract, “We made a principled decision that we’re not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy.”