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Microsoft Wins $21 Billion U.S. Army Contract for Augmented Reality Headsets


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Soldiers train with a prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System.

Microsoft has been awarded a contract worth up to $21 billion by the U.S. Army for augmented reality headsets.

Credit: Courtney Bacon/Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team

The U.S. Army has awarded Microsoft a contract worth up to $21 billion for augmented reality headsets that are supposed to help soldiers map the battlefield, select targets, and stay aware of possible threats by overlaying intelligence information directly onto their field of vision.

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System, known as IVAS, is part of a broader set of investments meant to make military intelligence data more useful to deployed soldiers, who must quickly make decisions in far-flung battlefields based on the limited information available to them. Many of these so-called "tactical edge" devices build on recent advancements in cloud computing that were developed in the commercial business world.

A release published by the Army on Wednesday afternoon explained that the IVAS system would help it "achieve overmatch against current and future adversaries." A separate blog post published by Microsoft and attributed to Alex Kipman, an augmented reality technologist, said the IVAS program "delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios."

From The Washington Post
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