US military to finally get Microsoft’s combat goggles worth $21.9 billion

These augmented reality goggles, which are a modified version of the HoloLens eyewear, give the user a “heads-up display,” or a hologram that is projected over their environment and provides more information over what they can already see.

HoloLens glasses cost US $3,500 each and are sold in stores. The eyewear is used by NASA and in a number of industries, including healthcare.

Over the next ten years, the US Army anticipates spending about $21.9 billion on these glasses. The eyewear won’t undergo its final test until October, but according to Bush, “The Army remains convinced the initiative will be successful.”

The deal is happening despite Microsoft’s tech employees’ years-long demands that the military deal be terminated.

US Army and Microsoft employee controversy

In 2018, Microsoft and the US Army negotiated an initial agreement worth $480 million.

However, in a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith, a group of Microsoft employees urged the company to void the contract because the technology would be used “to help people kill.”

Months later, in 2019, the workers said the company had failed to disclose to the engineers “the intent of the software they are building.”

“We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the US Military, helping one country’s government’ increase lethality’ using tools we built,” the workers tweeted a letter. “We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”

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