The Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), typically used in projection screen technology, has utility in instrumentation for astronomy as a digitally programmable slit in a spectrograph. When placed at an imaging focal plane the device can be used to selectively direct light from astronomical targets into the optical path of a spectrograph, while at the same time directing the remaining light into an imaging camera, which can be used for slit alignment, science imaging, or both. To date the use of DMDs in astronomy has been limited, especially for instruments that operate in the near infrared (1 - 2.5 μm). This limitation is due in part to a host of technical challenges with respect to DMDs that, to date, have not been thoroughly explored. Those challenges include operation at cryogenic temperature, control electronics that facilitate DMD use at these temperatures, window coatings properly coated for the near infrared bandpass, and scattered light. This paper discusses these technical challenges and presents progress towards understanding and mitigating them.