U.S. Army approves order for thousands of Microsoft combat goggles

Years after Microsoft employees asked that the tech firm abandon its deal with the military, the U.S. Army has authorised an order to purchase thousands of the HoloLens combat goggles developed by the business.

Following "encouraging findings from testing in the field," according to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday, Microsoft would start shipping some of the 5,000 Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggle units.

Initially placed in March 2021, the order for 5,000 goggles was delayed due to reservations regarding their performance.

Douglas Bush, the assistant secretary for acquisition, has now "approved the Army to begin receiving," according to Army spokesperson Jamal Beck.

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

The goggles won't undergo their final test until October, but according to Bush, "The Army is confident that the initiative will succeed."

The HoloLens glasses may be purchased from stores for $3,500 each set. The eyewear are employed by NASA and used in a number of sectors, including the healthcare industry.

For $480 million, Microsoft and the Army negotiated the initial agreement in 2018. A few months later in 2019, a number of Microsoft staff members urged the business to renegotiate the agreement since the technology would be used "to help individuals kill."