HoloLens 2: a weapon of war?

Written by:
Amelia Craig
Date Posted:
27 February 2019
Category:
Tech News

When technology isn’t always used for ‘good’…

New HoloLens 2
On Sunday, Microsoft announced the launch of HoloLens 2, the newest version of Microsoft’s augmented reality (AR) headset. This product is not aimed at gamers, but is instead designed to help with work productivity.

Microsoft has demonstrated several possible uses for HoloLens 2 in a variety of workspaces. It is possible to meet as 3D avatars in a virtual meeting room, interacting with the AR surroundings with touch and voice commands. Other examples showed industrial equipment repair, where instructions of the repair are auto imposed over the real-life object.

Saving Lives
The HoloLens 2 has also been used for the first time in midwifery training at Middlesex University, and Microsoft hope that the product will be able to potentially save lives. Virtual reality images of what is happening inside the body should help to teach midwife students about a range of emergencies that could occur.

The HoloLens 2 allows students to become accustomed to these situations by experiencing a realistic picture that you would get when emergencies like this happen.

Weapon of Combat
In November, Microsoft agreed a £367m deal to develop a platform that would use the HoloLens 2 headset to help train soldiers in combat. However, employees of Microsoft have spoken out against this, arguing that the HoloLens 2 headset must not be used to ‘help people kill.’

In a letter that circulated amongst Microsoft employees and was backed by employees from multiple departments, people raised concerns over the nature of the project, stating that ‘Microsoft must stop in its activities to empower the US Army’s ability to cause harm and violence.’

‘HoloLens for good, not war’ became a trending topic on social media, along with concerns about Microsoft’s ethics going forward.

HoloLens 2 represents a huge leap forward with augmented reality. Whilst it has many creative business benefits and could be used in hospitals etc, there are still concerns over AR making combat training seem less ‘realistic’ so that armed forces members dissociate themselves from their actions in combat.

What are your thoughts on the HoloLens 2? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @Hyve!

 

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