Skip to Content
Humans and technology

US Army soldiers will soon wear Microsoft’s HoloLens AR goggles in combat

November 29, 2018

Microsoft has won a $480 million deal to supply more than 100,000 augmented-reality HoloLens headsets to the US Army, Bloomberg reports.

Uses? The Army plans to use the headsets for combat missions as well as training. The technology will be adapted to incorporate night vision and thermal sensing, offer hearing protection, monitor for concussion, and measure vital signs like breathing and “readiness.” AR firm MagicLeap also bid for the contract, according to Bloomberg.

A first: HoloLens is used for training by the US and Israeli military already, but this would be the first time it’s been used for live combat. It’s another example of how AR is being adopted far more enthusiastically by organizations than consumers.

Tensions: The deal is more good news for Microsoft, which overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company yesterday. However, there could be pushback against this contract—and it’s as likely to come from Microsoft employees themselves as from external groups. The relationship between the technology sector and the US military has become fraught over the past year, with employees at Amazon, Google, and Microsoft protesting their companies’ bids for government contracts. The solution? Move uneasy staff members to other projects, Microsoft president Brad Smith said last month.  

Deep Dive

Humans and technology

anti-choice surveillance tactics
anti-choice surveillance tactics

Anti-abortion activists are collecting the data they’ll need for prosecutions post-Roe

Body cams and license plates are already being used to track people arriving at abortion clinics.

Chinese livestreamer and beauty influencer Li Jiaqi, also known as "king of lipstick," is seen in a subway station in Shanghai
Chinese livestreamer and beauty influencer Li Jiaqi, also known as "king of lipstick," is seen in a subway station in Shanghai

How China’s biggest online influencers fell from their thrones

Three top livestreaming personalities on the platform Taobao commanded legions of fans who bought billions of dollars’ worth of goods—until they suddenly went dark.

animal crossing concepts
animal crossing concepts

Inside the experimental world of animal infrastructure

Wildlife crossings cut down on roadkill. But are they really a boon for conservation?

Meta bombards cancer patients with quack ads
Meta bombards cancer patients with quack ads

Facebook is bombarding cancer patients with ads for unproven treatments

Clinics offering debunked cancer treatments are still allowed to advertise, despite the company’s stated efforts to control medical misinformation.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.