U.S. Army advances its 120,000 HoloLens-based headset deal with Microsoft

The augmented-reality headset contract could be worth up to $21.88 billion over ten years, Microsoft says.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft may still not have final clearance to work on the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract with the U.S. Department of Defense but that doesn't mean it isn't still racking up military wins. The latest: The U.S. Army is moving from prototyping to production and fielding for HoloLens 2-based Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) headsets, Microsoft announced on March 31.

The Army has ordered 120,000 of the augmented-reality headsets -- a contract which could be worth as much as $21.88 billion over ten years, according to Microsoft. (The total includes a five year base and five year option, Microsoft execs said.) 

Microsoft has been working with the Army on IVAS for the past few years. In 2018, Microsoft announced it had won a $480 million, two-year contract for prototyping IVAS headsets with the Army.

The headsets are based on HoloLens technology, augmented with Azure cloud services. They IVAS system is meant to help provide enhanced situational awareness that will enable soldiers to fight, rehears and train using a single platform, according to the Army's press release on the deal. The systems will provide high-resolution night, thermal and soldier-borne sensors that are integrated into the display. The system also uses mixed reality and machine learning to enable a "life-like mixed reality training environment." the Army said.

Microsoft has been doing work around wargame simulation via its Studio Alpha project.

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