Since the presentation more than two years ago, the first generation of HoloLensMicrosoft made it clear: Microsoft will not become "playing glasses". Both for the price ($ 3500) and the development that currently has frameworks and applications, Redmond is doing everything it can to position a product that has been called upon to manner of working.
And not just at the office. A recent contract between Microsoft and the US Army forms the basis for future US soldiers to use these augmented reality glasses in armed conflicts and special operations. And although the signing of this contract is not controversial (hundreds of Microsoft employees have raised their voices in the form of a protest letter), the truth is that the US military is already starting to work with a special version of HoloLens adapted to development of field operations.
This week's news is that for the first time a journalist (the CNBC reporter, Todd Haselton) has had the opportunity to personally check how they are HoloLens for military use and how they will help the soldiers to do their "work" better.
A prototype with a lot of room for improvement
For military use, Microsoft has reduced the size and weight of the original HoloLens so that any soldier can connect them to a small computer attached to their backpack. Nevertheless, the intention of the US military to limit even more "gadgets" and because they tell the CNBC reporter that his idea is in less than six months, is to develop a new version whose size does not differ too much from that of sunglasses.
This, from the point of view of the hardware, which also needs to improve, for example in minimizing the weight and size of a backpack who can obstruct the movement of soldiers without sacrificing their autonomy. That said, perhaps the most interesting thing about this fork Military is how thanks to the augmented reality, the vision and information available to every soldier, it becomes an experience very similar to that of a player who has invested hours in titles such as call of Duty.
And although the software is yet to mature (when the crash is abundant), Haselton is surprised by some of the practical applications that are already underway. From the viewer, for example, the soldier has access to the map of the building where he is located (in addition to an aerial photo), he has a GPS compass that shows his position at any time and can place the scene on the map "in which position is each of his companions, allowing immediate communication between the comrades themselves, from a score card that has access to the real-time vision of each of the helmets.
HoloLens also shows its competence in night vision. Unlike "traditional glasses" that emit a green halo visible to the enemy, Microsoft uses advanced cameras that improve visibility in dark conditions and the location of all members who form a unit.
As if this is not enough, the viewer of the soldier's weapon is expected to be able to "synchronize" with HoloLens in the future, which would greatly increase the accuracy of each shot, knowing that in real time and with a small margin of error on what (or who) aims.
Currently, both Microsoft and the US military are developing various pilot projects with the goal that HoloLens will find in the medium term, a space in the basic equipment of each soldier. When does this happen? Although there is no official date at the moment, everything indicates that at least we will have to wait until 2023 … if it is that the anti-army movements that have awakened in the Redmond bosom, it is not possible to get the contract cancel earlier.