After Google Glass and Oculus Rift, a new augmented reality device may soon hit the shelves, as it was revealed last week that a Microsoft head-mounted display device is being planned.
Microsoft filed a patent for a pair of augmented reality glasses, a system whose primary purpose may be that of offering an enhanced experience to users participating in a multiplayer game. But given the features described in the patent application, the head-mounted display could have many other uses besides gaming.
The augmented reality glasses would be equipped with eye-tracking technology, depth camera, facial recognition technology that would allow it to recognize other players’ faces, a microphone and others.
In a multiplayer game, users would be able to send invitations to other players using voice commands or eye-tracking information. The device would be linked to the player account and keep a record of all games and progress. The AR glasses would also allow players to connect their accounts and set up teams.
The Microsoft head-mounted display gadget could also include additional cameras, sensors, input and output devices, microphones and others, the company said, stressing that the patent application description is not intended to be limiting.
And indeed the patent notes that sending game invitations is not the extent of what Microsoft wants the device to be used for. It is however unclear what plans the company has at this point and what other features the AR glasses may include. The patent application notes 2014 as a possible release date.
The Microsoft headset will most likely be designed to work with next-generation Xbox One console, scheduled to be launched this November. And this is not the first time the company has indicated plans to release augmented reality glasses for the Xbox. A leaked document last year made mention of Fortaleza Kinect Glasses – a Wi-Fi and 4G enabled system that had the potential to work both with the console and away from it, similar to Google Glass.
It remains to be seen if the new Microsoft head-mounted display device will actually see the light of day, as it could make for an interesting AR gadget, both with Xbox One and without it. What do you think of the project? What other uses could this system have?