Microsoft has reportedly won a huge $480 million contract with the U.S. Army. The company will be selling more than 100,00 HoloLens headsets to the Army as part of the new deal, according to Bloomberg.
The U.S Army reportedly held a bidding process for the new program, which is supposed to help its troops “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy” at the battlefield. Microsoft was only one of the interested contractors, with other names like Magic Leap reportedly showing interest.
The new contract will continue Microsoft’s relationship with the Department of Defense. The company could potentially be making specialized versions of the HoloLens for the U.S. Army. Bloomberg reports that the Army has requested features like night vision and thermal sensing, as well as being able to measure and detect signs like breathing and readiness.
The contract will require Microsoft to deliver 2,500 HoloLens devices within the first two years. “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,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
It’s not clear whether Microsoft will be delivering the upcoming HoloLens v3, or just the original HoloLens as part of the new deal.
Microsoft’s new contract with the U.S. Army comes at a point where there’s been significant backlash from employees of the company against government contracts.