Home Gaming Microsoft’s HoloLens will be used by the US Army to “increase lethality” in warzones

Microsoft’s HoloLens will be used by the US Army to “increase lethality” in warzones

2 min read
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In-the-army-now

Judging by all the old vomit that has decorated the office walls like some sort of Jackson Pollock home decor renovation, I’m guessing that virtual reality gaming may not be as popular as it wanted to be. Sure, PlayStation VR and other systems such as the Oculus Rift may have a steady flow of games arriving every month, but the adoption of that technology hasn’t been as massive as you’d imagine it to be.

Back when VR was touted as the next big thing, Microsoft decided to go in a different route and focus on Augmented Reality instead. Their hardware solution? A trendy headset that they called HoloLens, which was unveiled back in 2014. Outside of those people wanting to cough up $5000 for a commercial kit, HoloLens kind of just faded away.

While there is a bunch of software available for the system, mass scale production of the Microsoft AR kit never went for the consumer jugular. That doesn’t mean that HoloLens is dead however, because the devices will live on as equipment for the unlikeliest of interested parties: The US Military. According to Bloomberg, the US Army has purchased up to 100 000 of these headsets, which will be used for training scenarios and deployment in real-life theatres of war.

The US government isn’t even bothering to hide what these devices will be used for, as they’ve eschewed flowery PR talk and straight up published that the headsets will “increase lethaliity by enhancing the ability to detect, decide, and engage before the enemy”. The US Army has been playing with these headsets for a while now, but the new deal with Microsoft will net the company a cool $480 million for the contract, which saw them fend off offers from rivals such as Magic Leap.

Hololens

As for how the army will evolve the design, Bloomberg says that night vision and thermal sensing technology will be incorporated into the headsets. Naturally, the contract wasn’t without controversy as people within Microsoft wrote a letter that strongly urged the company to abandon bidding on the military project.

“Many Microsoft employees don’t believe that what we build should be used for waging war. When we decided to work at Microsoft, we were doing so in the hopes of ’empowering every person on the planet to achieve more’, not with the intent of ending lives and enhancing lethality,” the letter read. Responding, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said that “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.

Given our size and product diversity, we often have open jobs across the company and we want people to look for the work they want to do, including with help from Microsoft’s HR team.

Whatever your stance on war and having soldiers outfitted in the latest death-enhancing technology, one thing is for certain: HoloLens is about to make a killing on the battlefield.

Last Updated: November 30, 2018

9 Comments

  1. Original Heretic

    November 30, 2018 at 10:24

    Oh, look at all the money the US military is spending again.
    US debt is currently only more than $20 trillion. But hey, ways of killing US enemies is way better for them than, say, medical care for their citizens.

    Reply

    • Guz

      November 30, 2018 at 11:16

      I would not wanna go to the hospital in the US, if the ambulance came I’d be like no just leave me I’ll make another plan

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        November 30, 2018 at 11:22

        I read a story a couple months back about a woman who got her leg all mangled when she slipped in a subway station. Leg got caught between the train and the platform.
        In between her cries of pain, she pleaded with people to NOT call an ambulance, saying she couldn’t afford it.

        Reply

        • Guz

          November 30, 2018 at 11:41

          Damm that’s pretty messed up

          Reply

          • Fnuik

            November 30, 2018 at 12:57

            In SA if you don’t have medical aid you also ask people to just amputate the leg right there out of fear of going to state owned hospital. At the hospital you will still loose your leg and probably get discharged with a bonus of hepatitis or gangrene in the other leg.

  2. Pieter Kruger

    November 30, 2018 at 10:58

    The most valuable company in the US just got another $500 million contract….now go buy some more Developers already…..

    Reply

  3. Guz

    November 30, 2018 at 11:15

    ffs just what we need to be investing in, better way to kill people…..

    Reply

  4. Nikola

    November 30, 2018 at 11:35

    I’ve been telling everyone for a while Microsoft was evil but NOOO Nikola stop being a PS fanboy and look at this now;)

    Reply

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