The United States military’s investment in augmented reality is soon set to take off. After years of research and development, US soldiers will be wearing Microsoft HoloLens headsets to war.
Microsoft HoloLens on US Soldiers
In previous reports, we’ve detailed the Pentagon’s push for soldiers to be equipped with AR technology. Designed to improve situational awareness with real-time heads-up displays, like a video game, the tech has been developed with military in mind.
Until recently, AR warfare was still in-development. However, according to a report from Bloomberg, a military-only modified HoloLens was cleared for use in battle in August. This means that augmented reality equipped soldiers are almost here.
Currently, the Army is awaited Pentagon approval for deployment of the technology. This is the second time the tech has been blocked behind Pentagon approval, the last time being October, 2021.
After years of development, Microsoft’s HoloLens technology is in a good place to provide AR experiences. However, it’s not known how the tech will change the way US soldiers act in battle.
Supplies are low
Microsoft’s contract with the United States military saw the company agree to produce 120,000 HoloLens headsets for $21 billion. However, it looks like the military will be waiting a while for Microsoft to fulfil that order.
Instead of delivering all 120,000 headsets at once, Microsoft will release equipment in batches. The Army has reportedly paid $373 million for just 5,000 headsets. This means that each headset is worth $74,600. That’s over 14 times the price of the most expensive HoloLens out now.
This isn’t the only new technological development of the United States Army. Alongside the arrival of augmented reality headsets, the military is also pairing US soldiers with robotics. In fact, these robots even have to undergo similar common sense training as humans.
Furthermore, the Military is working on its own Metaverse to train soldiers in virtual reality. While not much has been revealed of the government project, it is expected to become a next-gen training tool for new soldiers.