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Augmented Reality gets real

Let’s visit a story that broke late last week to give it the spotlight it deserves.   Microsoft has won a contract with the US army for HoloLens headsets.   120,000 headsets for just shy of $22 billion dollars.    This is the next step in their working relationship, started in 2018.  The plan is high-resolution night, thermal, and solider borne sensors combined into a heads up display.   This is scaling up the prototype from the previous work.

Meanwhile, Kara Swisher, in an interview for the NY Times, talked with Apple’s Tim Cook about augmented reality.     He agreed with her framing that the tech is “critically important” to Apple’s future.   

Why do we care?

Parroting online here – for all the “moonshots” Google or Facebook have taken, here’s a Microsoft one that’s in the field and making money.   This is the real deal, with practical applications and a massively significant contract.    In Augmented Reality, Microsoft is a real player, and everyone else is still trying.   

I’d bet on Apple being next up to take a lead in the consumer space.   Is this “primed to hit everywhere?”.     Nope, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real.    I was banking on gaming being the play – nope, military use wins out.    Consumer feels like it will benefit.