Microsoft is jumping on the wearable display bandwagon, but don’t expect a Google Glass competitor. This week the company patented a head-mounted display aimed at bringing augmented reality to gaming.
The patent describes a heads-up display that would allow players to invite their friends to participate in a game by using the device. The drawings included in the application show a pair of glasses with sensors along the side and on the front for locating users and tracking gestures. The game-oriented goggles would be able to receive voice commands, monitor your eye movements and recognize the faces of fellow players, as shown in the illustration.
The patent’s language describes a system in which the glasses would obtain information from one user, such as facial recognition, eye-tracking information and voice data to create a visual representation of that user when sending the invitation to a friend.
“The invitation from the user may be associated with the potential player using the eye-tracking information, the depth information, the facial recognition information, the potential player head-mounted display information, and/or the potential player voice data,” the document reads.
The eyewear looks awfully similar to Microsoft’s alleged “Kinect Shades” that turned up when a reportedly leaked internal document made its way onto the Web last year. The paperwork, which dated back to 2010, details Microsoft’s plans for the future of its Xbox line.
The document specifically mentioned that 3D augmented reality glasses could hit the market by 2015, although Microsoft never confirmed the paperwork. Still, the leaked plans were spot on when it came to certain facts about the Xbox One. For instance, the 56-page document said that the next Xbox would launch in 2013 for $299 and would come with a second-generation Kinect included — which aligns with what Microsoft announced when the Xbox One was unveiled on May 21.
This new patent is one of several clues pointing to Microsoft’s future plans for augmented reality integration. At the end of July the company also patented designs for a futuristic laptop with a transparent display, and before that we heard whispers of a 3D holographic system for Skype calls via a Microsoft job posting.