The American tech giant, Microsoft has revealed that its AR deal with the United States Army has hit a huge milestone. The tech giant is expected to deliver to the Army over 120,000 devices based on its HoloLens augmented reality headset for a contract worth $21.9 billion for 10 years.

Earlier reports revealed that the AR partnership with the US military hasn’t been smooth sailing so far, however, in the latest developments, the firm now announces that the project has attained a major milestone.

Microsoft’s cloud and AI head Scott Guthrie sends an internal email with an update on the IVAS project. According to the email, a current prototype of the military mixed reality headset has been released for the operational test, which is the next phase in the military HoloLens’ suitability for war review. This is a major milestone for the team, according to Guthrie, and the culmination of years of hard work.

According to Army then, the next round of testing for the mixed reality headset will begin in early May. Soldiers have given positive feedback on the headset, and enough progress has been made in the technical areas that have caused the delay in permitting an operational test.

Guthrie also lauded an XR meetings project with Accenture, which utilizes Microsoft’s XR infrastructure software Mesh. Following a presentation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he writes that Microsoft has had “tremendous demand” for the software from customers who want to execute similar projects.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the HoloLens, it appears that Microsoft isn’t fully abandoning XR hardware. Guthrie claims that the company is working on improved mixed reality gear and that the Mesh collaboration platform, which caters to more immersive Metaverse experiences, is still under development. Microsoft is also rumored to be forming cooperation with Samsung for a new mixed reality device.

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