The United States Army will give Microsoft a $480 million contract to supply its augmented reality Hololens headset for use in training and even live combat missions. With the goal of increasing "lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy," the US Army is expected to buy up to 100,000 headsets. The US Army reportedly wanted a device that would be able to measure vital signs and breathing, monitor for signs of concussion and provide night vision. Non-traditional military suppliers such as Magic Leap and Microsoft were encouraged to bid for the contract. Microsoft's Hololens augmented reality headset is not available for consumers but has become increasingly popular with businesses for marketing, training, and manufacturing.
With close to 50,000 units sold so far, the US Army's contract will practically triple Microsoft Hololens' sales. The headset is available to businesses for $5000 and $3,000 for developers. Microsoft released a statement to Bloomberg saying "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."
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