Sunday, March 25, 2012

Projector Eyewear Patent from Microsoft Sheds New Light on Gaming Possibilities

Microsoft's Projector Eyewear
A new patent from Microsoft was recently discovered that describes a new Xbox accessory that, from the looks of it, would bring about big change in the gaming industry. If the Kinect's ability to watch everything you do and listen to everything you say just isn't cool enough for you then maybe Microsoft's patented gaming eyewear that literally projects the game you are playing directly in front of your eyes can do the trick.

The patent, filed back in 2010, was titled "Projector Eyewear for Xbox and Beyond" and describes a physical headset that would project the audio and visuals of your Xbox game directly into your ears and eyes. Patentbolt was the first to uncover the patent. The display system described would be capable of being used with a plethora of different devices, including the Xbox 360 and PC. In addition to that, the patent described that the device could also be housed in a helmet or in a pair of goggles/glasses.

Physically, the human eye is incapable of focusing on things that are closer than a few centimeters from the eye., meaning that images fed directly into the lenses of the eyewear isn't possible. Instead, a "virtual image" would be stereoscopically created by displaying two different images simultaneously, similar to the Nintendo 3DS' top screen 3D effect.

This projector eyewear would, in one configuration, display a 16:9 aspect ratio image that would appear about 21" away from your eyes, having the effect that an HDTV is floating in front of you. The patent also states that the display will be somewhat transparent, which will allow you to view the room around you, even while playing.

The only downside here is that this is just a patent, meaning that, at the moment, it is only an idea. The technology itself may never actually surface and make it onto the heads of gamers everywhere. However, if this ever did become a reality, and the price was similarly reasonable to Microsoft's Kinect sensor, then this could open up new doors to virtual reality gaming. You're talking about a personalized display that allows both motion and voice inputs.

Nevertheless, this is definitely something I would be into if it ever surfaces past the patent stage. Who knows, maybe Microsoft is just waiting for the Xbox 720 to be released before they build new technology for the current Xbox 360. Still, it would be very cool to have.

Source: Digital Trends - Microsoft's 'Projector Eyewear' brings Xbox closer to virtual reality

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