Microsoft announced a contract with US Army worth nearly 22 billion dollars to produce augmented reality headsets

Augmented reality, or RA, is a technology that uses glasses to project computer-created images and information that add to what users see in the real and physical world.

Military officials said the technology would improve soldiers' ability to see their surroundings and identify targets and dangers. The technology is based on Microsoft's HoloLens headsets, originally designed for video games

Army said helmets could be used for both training and combat Army said AR system could help troops gain the upper hand in battle Soldiers first tested gadgets times last year

The contract is valid until 21 $88 billion for a maximum of 10 years, Microsoft said The deal lasts for five years and could be extended for another five

Microsoft President, Brad Smith, spoke about the technology to the US Senate Armed Services Committee in February He said soldiers could use the system to see at night and for facial recognition on the battlefield. He also described how it could help in hostage situations by creating an electronic representation of a building, what he called a «digital twin”

Several tech companies have sought to use augmented reality for video games These efforts have been largely unsuccessful But the Hololens 2 from Microsoft will be used by the military The company also wants the devices to be used to help doctors during medical operations, factory teams and others. Users can often control what they see on the device using hand gestures or voice commands

Headphone deal is part of Microsoft's job as defense contractor The military also awarded Microsoft a cloud computing contract for 10 billion dollars in September

Matt O’Brien reported this story for The Associated Press Dan Novak adapted it for VOA Learning English Mario Ritter Jr was the editor

helmet- n (augmented reality) a head-worn device that uses computer technology to produce images and information that add to what the wearer can see in the real world

entrepreneur-n a person who is hired to perform work or to supply goods at a certain price or within a certain period of time

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