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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday November 29 2018, @04:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the playing-cod-for-real dept.

US Army awards Microsoft with $480 million HoloLens contract

The US Army has awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract to supply the military branch with as many as 100,000 HoloLens augmented reality headsets for training and combat purposes, according to Bloomberg.

Microsoft beat out other leading augmented reality headset companies, like Magic Leap, which announced that it would be joining the bidding process back in September. Microsoft has had the upper hand, focusing primarily on enterprise markets, unlike Magic Leap, which has focused on the barely-existent consumer market. Microsoft has also previously sold some headsets to the military. But this contract would go well beyond its earlier collaboration, and could greatly expand the reach of the headset.

[...] According to Bloomberg, the military-grade headsets would vary extensively from the existing HoloLens design. They would include thermal sensing and night vision and be used in both training and on the battlefield. Microsoft would be expected to provide at least 2,500 units of the headset to the military branch within the next two years.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Microsoft Announces $3,500 HoloLens 2 With Wider Field of View and Other Improvements 5 comments

Microsoft Reveals HoloLens 2 with More than 2x Field of View & 47 Pixels per-Degree

Microsoft today revealed HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019 in Barcelona. The headset features a laser-scanning display which brings a field of view that's more than 2x the original HoloLens and 47 pixels per degree.

HoloLens visionary Alex Kipman took to the stage in Barcelona to introduce HoloLens 2 which addresses many of the key criticisms of the original headset: field of view, comfort, and hand-tracking.

Kipman says that HoloLens 2 "more than doubles" the field of view of the original HoloLens, though hasn't yet specified exactly what the field of view is. The original HoloLens field of view was around 35 degrees, so HoloLens 2 is expected to be around 70 degrees.

[...] HoloLens 2 is also designed to be more comfortable, with much of the headset's bulk balanced in the back of the headset. Kipman said HoloLens 2 "more than triples the comfort" over the original HoloLens... though the exact weight, and how they came to that specific figure, is unclear. Still, the front portion of the headset is said to be made entirely from carbon fiber to cut down on weight and offers a convenient flip-up visor.

HoloLens 2 also brings hand-tracking which goes much further than the coarse gesture control in the original headset. Now with full hand-tracking, users can interact much more directly with applications by touching, poking, and sliding controls directly rather than using abstract gestures.

Also at Engadget.

See also: HoloLens 2 Specs Reveal 2–3 Hour 'Active' Battery Life, Optional Top Strap, & More
Mozilla is bringing Firefox to Microsoft's HoloLens 2

Previously: HoloLens - Microsoft's Augmented Reality Product
Microsoft Giving $500,000 to Academia to Develop HoloLens Apps
Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and HoloLens Dev Edition
Microsoft HoloLens and its 24-Core Chip
HoloLens 2 to Include Machine Learning Accelerated Hardware
Ford Using Microsoft HoloLens to Help Design Cars
Leaked Microsoft Documents Describe Plans for Surface Tablets, Xbox, "Andromeda", and HoloLens
HoloLens to Assist Surgeons at UK's Alder Hey Children's Hospital
U.S. Army Awards Microsoft a $480 Million HoloLens Contract


Original Submission

Microsoft Misrepresented HoloLens 2 Field of View, Faces Backlash for Military Contract 39 comments

Microsoft Significantly Misrepresented HoloLens 2's Field of View at Reveal

To significant anticipation, Microsoft revealed HoloLens 2 earlier this week at MWC 2019. By all accounts it looks like a beautiful and functional piece of technology and a big step forward for Microsoft's AR initiative. All of which makes it unfortunate that the company didn't strive to be clearer when illustrating one of the three key areas in which the headset is said to be improved over its predecessor. [...] For field of view—how much of your view is covered by the headset's display—[Alex] Kipman said that HoloLens 2 delivers "more than double" the field of view of the original HoloLens.

Within the AR and VR markets, the de facto descriptor used when talking about a headset's field of view is an angle specified to be the horizontal, vertical, or diagonal extent of the device's display from the perspective of the viewer. When I hear that one headset has "more than double" the field of view of another, it says to me that one of those angles has increased by a factor of ~2. It isn't perfect by any means, but it's how the industry has come to define field of view.

It turns out that's not what Kipman meant when he said "more than double." I reached out to Microsoft for clarity and found that what he was actually referring to was not a field of view angle, rather the field of view area, but that wasn't explained in the presentation at all, just (seemingly intentionally) vague statements of "more than twice the field of view."

[...] But then Kipman moved onto a part of the presentation which visually showed the difference between the field of view of HoloLens 1 and HoloLens 2, and that's when things really became misleading.

Microsoft chief defends controversial military HoloLens contract

Microsoft employees objecting to a US Army HoloLens contract aren't likely to get many concessions from their company's leadership. CEO Satya Nadella has defended the deal in a CNN interview, arguing that Microsoft made a "principled decision" not to deny technology to "institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy." The exec also asserted that Microsoft was "very transparent" when securing the contract and would "continue to have that dialogue" with staff.

Also at UploadVR, Ars Technica, and The Hill.

See also: Stick to Your Guns, Microsoft

Previously: U.S. Army Awards Microsoft a $480 Million HoloLens Contract
Microsoft Announces $3,500 HoloLens 2 With Wider Field of View and Other Improvements

Related: Google Drafting Ethics Policy for its Involvement in Military Projects
Google Will Not Continue Project Maven After Contract Expires in 2019


Original Submission

U.S. Army Shows Off Demo of HoloLens 2 System 18 comments

US Army shows how it will use HoloLens in the field

When Microsoft employees balked at the company's $479 million HoloLens contract with the US Army, it raised a question: just what would this system look like? You now have a better idea. The Army has given CNBC an early demo of its Integrated Visual Augmentation System, which uses a modified HoloLens 2 to provide both combat assistance and training. It reportedly feels like a "real-life game of Call of Duty" -- you can see your squad's positions on a map, a compass, and even your weapon's reticle. Thermal imaging would help you see in the dark without as much of a telltale glow as existing night vision headsets.

Previously: U.S. Army Awards Microsoft a $480 Million HoloLens Contract
Microsoft Announces $3,500 HoloLens 2 With Wider Field of View and Other Improvements
Microsoft Misrepresented HoloLens 2 Field of View, Faces Backlash for Military Contract


Original Submission

Microsoft's HoloLens 3 Reportedly Cancelled 5 comments

HoloLens 3 isn't happening and metaverse tie-in strategy is unclear, says report

Microsoft has done a lot with HoloLens and its successor, HoloLens 2, in the time both products have been available to the public. However, even with the line's accomplishments, a HoloLens 3 may not be in the cards.

According to a report by Business Insider, HoloLens 3 has been scrapped by Microsoft and the HoloLens team is trapped in a state of perpetual confusion and uncertainty over what the long-term goals of existing plans are. As a result, teammates are leaving Microsoft to pursue augmented reality positions at rival companies such as Meta, a development that was documented before this report.

Some of the HoloLens team believe the focus should remain on hardware innovation efforts, like has been seen with the U.S. Army's IVAS contract, which holds the potential to net Microsoft up to $22 billion in exchange for its delivery of soldier-attuned HoloLens variants. That project has been delayed, reportedly because Microsoft has been thus far unable to produce a combat-ready device.

Also at PCWorld and Engadget.

See also: Microsoft's HoloLens 3 's--t show' proves it still doesn't understand the consumer market

Previously: U.S. Army Awards Microsoft a $480 Million HoloLens Contract
Microsoft Announces $3,500 HoloLens 2 With Wider Field of View and Other Improvements
Microsoft Misrepresented HoloLens 2 Field of View, Faces Backlash for Military Contract
U.S. Army Shows Off Demo of HoloLens 2 System


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by idiot_king on Thursday November 29 2018, @04:44AM (6 children)

    by idiot_king (6587) on Thursday November 29 2018, @04:44AM (#767645)

    Get ready for BSODs on the battlefield causing casualties higher than just using regular... eyes, I guess. Brought to you (once again) by Capitalism!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @05:17AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @05:17AM (#767651)

      How many times has someone tried to explain the difference between capitalism and cronyism to you at this point?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @06:58AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @06:58AM (#767668)

        Everything is capitalism, so capitalism necessarily includes everything bad and sinful in the world. Therefore capitalism bad.
        Everyday we drift further away from Marx's light.

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Thursday November 29 2018, @07:23AM (3 children)

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 29 2018, @07:23AM (#767671)

      I doubt they really run windows on it. The hardware only has 2GB ram but the wikipedia page says windows 10 is running on it.. yeah right. An incredibly butchered version is more likely. Also, we can't forget the weird HPU thing that is actually an ARM CPU that is doing nearly all of the real work and handing that over to the 32bit intel CPU with win10 running on it. What OS is running on that ARM SoC and doing all the work? Something realtime (and not windows) is my guess.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @10:05AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @10:05AM (#767692)

        Windows Server Core only requires like 0.5GB RAM, so ....

        Not sure what is this all Windows hate coming from, maybe the 1990s.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Thursday November 29 2018, @10:41AM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday November 29 2018, @10:41AM (#767701) Journal

          To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

          Windows hate comes from Windows. They swindled IBM, and by extention, me. They gave me a Disk Operation System, instead of an actual one. The loaded me with blue screens of death, with undetectable errors, with a Registry, with madness beyond compare! And so now, at long last and forever, from Hell's heart I stab at Microsoft! For hate's sake, I run Linux. At some point, I will spit my not quite really my last breath, but some really goof phlegm, at Microsoft. Microsoft has made an enemy of myself, and many like me, for eternity. They will not recover. They will not prosper. No matter how may shill articles like this that the eds take money to post on the front page. Could we not have a ncie aristarchus submission, instead? Stab! Spit! Barf! Illegal operation!

        • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday November 30 2018, @04:38PM

          by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 30 2018, @04:38PM (#768342)

          Looks like server core is 64bit only. So that isn't what is being used here. Also, as someone who works (and sometimes lives) in a Microsoft development shop, i am perfectly allowed to hate on the MS bullshit that i deal with every day. I have a literal collection of win10 bluescreens. I collect them like Pokemon. Can't even imagine what it was like for those working in the 90's.

          --
          SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
  • (Score: 2) by drussell on Thursday November 29 2018, @06:22AM

    by drussell (2678) on Thursday November 29 2018, @06:22AM (#767665) Journal

    They must be pretty fancy military grade headsets at almost $5000 a pop...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @05:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29 2018, @05:04PM (#767790)

    This is right up there with forced funding of abortion and wars as a good example of why i don't pay income taxes.

  • (Score: 2) by corey on Friday November 30 2018, @01:05AM

    by corey (2202) on Friday November 30 2018, @01:05AM (#768078)

    The thanks they get for hoovering up everyone's data and handing it over to the three letter agencies.

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