Microsoft Patents Its Own Google Glasses
It might not be anything like the Oculus Rift but Microsoft has filed a patent for a head-mounted display. If companies followed through and put all their patents into production then we’d have a lot more awesome tech than we currently do but alas a patent just means that they’ve had the idea and don’t want other people to copy them.
Speaking of copying, this patent resembles Google Glass more than Oculus Rift. According to the patent document the glasses can come equipped with a microphone, an eye-tracking system, a depth camera, and a camera capable of recognizing the faces. That last one probably won’t make it into production given the fact that Google Glass can do the same thing but it has been disabled to prevent stalking on new levels. Oddly, the patent suggests that the device is intended for multiplayer gaming applications rather than augmenting reality. These applications include being able to use a voice commands or eye-tracking data to send a game invitation to another player, who could then use his or her glasses to respond.
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Of course, it would be a colossal waste of technology to use such a device solely for sending out game invites and issuing voice commands which Kinect can interpret anyway. The patent by nature has to provide a narrow definition of usage to prevent it from being an unfair blanket that keeps others from developing similar technology.
Thus we could well see Microsoft trump Google with a headset that augments reality in addition to enhancing your virtual gaming experience. Perhaps you could send out invites while jamming Halo or the AR display can overlay hints onto your TV screen. There really is a vast well of possibility with this.
An accelerometer in the headset allows users to perform actions with simple head gestures. Accept a game invite with a nod or decline it with a shake of your head. That’s boring though, what about using said gestures to control things in-game.
The document speaks about a whole lot of things that Kinect already does such as voice commands but this headset could be great for PC and Windows tablet users. Last year, a document released detailing Fortaleza Glasses which could be exactly what we’re seeing in this patent. Those included support for Wi-Fi, 4G, and augmented reality features, and could be used both with the Xbox One and, more notably, away from it, almost like Google Glass.
If any of this is true then I’m eager what Microsoft brings to augmented reality but also what applications they can find for it with regard to gaming and computing that Google has yet to tap into. At present Google Glass is very much removed from any other device and Microsoft could be the ones to explore that. What would their headset be called?