Google Glass may be hogging the spotlight when it comes to augmented reality tech, but Microsoft could be brainstorming a smart headset of its own. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is rumored to launch a pair of Internet-enabled goggles as early as next year, according to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White.
White said he believes that Google Glass could ignite a “major push” in wearable technology following its end-of-2013 debut, Apple Insider reports. Little is known about how Microsoft would implement this AR functionality, but this isn’t the first time we’ve heard murmurs of a head-mounted device. Previously discovered patents and alleged leaks indicate that the next-generation Xbox will integrate augmented reality into game play.
Microsoft filed a patent back in 2011 that depicts an AR experience that would take the game out of the TV and bring it to your living room. The patent’s schematics show a gaming console, presumably the alleged Xbox 720, which projects images from the game on to objects and furniture in your surrounding environment.
“The user may enjoy an immersive 3D experience using suitable headgear, such as active shutter glasses configured to operate in synchronization with suitable alternate-frame image sequencing at primary display and environmental display,” the patent said.
This aligns with information discovered in an allegedly leaked internal Microsoft document that made its way online last June. The 56-page document referred to a second-generation Kinect and “Kinect Shades” that would allow several players to experience the same 3D images. Microsoft has yet to speak publicly on the matter, so this can only be considered rumor at this point. We’ll have to wait until Microsoft unveils its next Xbox to know if this information is accurate, which could be as soon as next month.
Image Credit: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office