Microsoft has reportedly been awarded a ten year contract worth close to US$22 billion, to provide 120,000 military-grade augmented reality (AR) headsets to the US Army.
Popularised through mobile apps such as Pokémon Go and face filters on social media, AR technology is fundamentally about superimposing digital images over real-world environments.
The AR interface commissioned by the US military is referred to as an “Integrated Visual Augmentation System” (IVAS). It will use Microsoft’s HoloLens headset technology as its base hardware.
As the Army’s press release notes, the device will be used to coordinate soldiers and implement sensing technologies on the battlefield.