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With Augmented Reality enabled devices and apps slowly creeping into the tech sphere (Google’s Project Glass immediately springs to mind), a recently released patent application hints that Microsoft could soon be entering the AR fray.
This patent was originally filed for application back in May 2011. Eighteen months done the line, it has been approved by the USPTO. We’re sure there will be a lot finger-pointing going on between Microsoft and Google as to which company originated the idea, but seeing as Google is further along the road to release than Microsoft, it will claim bragging rights for now. Google’s Project Glass device is tentatively estimated for a 2014 public release according to Time magazine, so there’s plenty of time for Microsoft to make some headway.
As far as Microsoft’s still to be named AR device goes, the initial patent design looks far less futuristic than Google’s offering. The components of the head-mounted device are not disclosed, but images show how the device would be used during a real-time event, in this case Baseball. The AR glasses should be able to calculate the viewers location as well as what is being viewed. It would then access a stats database and assign to specific objects viewed through the AR device.
The patent for the device is described as:
A system and method to present a user wearing a head mounted display with supplemental information when viewing a live event. A user wearing an at least partially see-through, head mounted display views the live event while simultaneously receiving information on objects, including people, within the user’s field of view, while wearing the head mounted display. The information is presented in a position in the head mounted display which does not interfere with the user’s enjoyment of the live event.
This is not the first time we have heard a Microsoft AR device is in the works, with rumours floating around the next-gen Xbox and possible AR integration. The arrival of Microsoft AR glasses will depend heavily on the success of Google’s Project Glass, we just hope Microsoft is not too late joining the party before Google corner the market.