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Things get more “real” for the US ArmyINTL

Things get more “real” for the US Army

Huge news for Microsoft (MSFT) — it just secured a $22b deal with the US Army to provide them with tens of thousands of augmented reality (AR) headsets over the next 10 years. American soldiers will be armed (excuse the pun) with over 120,000 HoloLens-style sets that are based on the existing IVAS design, but altered to fit the needs of the military. AR tech will give troops the tools to practice making better decisions while on the field through enhanced situational awareness.

The tech giant had already scored a two-year, $480m deal with the army in 2018 to provide augmented reality tech, so we’re guessing that the government was happy with its previous services and wanted more! Investors seemed to revel in the news, as shares were up 1.7% at the end of Wednesday.

why it matters
Many Microsoft employees have called for the company to drop these contracts, claiming they did not “sign up to develop weapons.” But, given that business is business, Microsoft’s deal could encourage other AR players to strike deals with the government, regardless of the public scrutiny that comes with it.