Not to be outdone by Sony’s Project Morpheus of Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift, Microsoft seem to be entering the realm of creating devices that portray a fictional reality. According to some digging by TechCrunch, Microsft has purchased up to $150M in patents for augmented reality (AR) headsets and similar devices.
It appears as though, instead of going down their competitors’ routes and implemented an all-encompassing virtual reality headset that brings you into a virtual world, Microsoft may be looking to implement a Google Glasses-esque head device to be used in conjunction with a camera (likely the Kinect, once Microsoft is done with it) to display a visually-modified surroundings within the area of use. Your living could end up becoming a stand-in for a jungle, desert, frozen tundra, etc. for use within a video game.
It is unclear what Microsoft intends to do with these patents. They could be throwing their money around to buy up IP for use later on future tech devices, or even be ensuring that competing brands don’t get their hands on the rights to those technologies. They could also use the patents as a tool for licencing or royalties, something that the company has benefited greatly from over the years. Possibilities for Xbox One gaming with an AR device and the Kinect could be endless.
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