In 2015, Microsoft showed off its fancy new HoloLens augmented reality goggles with a very impressive Minecraft demo. In 2021, the company has just agreed to sell “up to 22 billion” worth of headsets based on that original tech to the U.S. military.
As TechCrunch reports, while the military and Microsoft originally agreed to some kind of smaller augmented reality program back in 2018, this is a full-fledged deal to deliver 120,000 headsets over the next ten years, which will basically give soldiers access to all kinds of navigational, communication and awareness tools right in front of their face.
They won’t be the exact same goggles that we saw in 2015; the Minecraft demo ran on the original HoloLens, which was upgraded to the HoloLens 2 in 2019. But it’s part of the same family that was first shown off to play Minecraft, watch football and help people, so it’s tough looking at the amount of money involved here and figure all that cutesy stuff was anything but a smokescreen to help Microsoft achieve their ultimate goal: make a ton of money from the military.