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Another Major Entrance to the Augmented Reality Headset Market?

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Microsoft Headset PatentAugmented reality headsets are becoming more popular each day even if the market for them is still mostly non-existent. Starting with the likes of Apple, Sony and most recently Google, who are rumoured to be preparing the launch of a video headset (with augmented reality support),  another major company prepares to enter the game. Any idea who might be missing from the Fantastic Tech Four team?

According to Patent Bolt, the company behind the best-selling operating system in the world has been secretly working on a video headset for its Xbox 720 future release since September 2010. Building on the success they had with Kinect, Microsoft wants to continue their impressive evolution in the gaming market (and beyond) with their proposed headset. Even if Patent Bolt makes no specific reference to augmented reality per se, the headset’s transparent displays will most likely be capable of AR projections onto real-world objects. These will be an add-on to the HUD’s already announced virtual reality capabilities.

With two different styles proposed, Microsoft wants to capture both home and mobile users. The first relates to a helmet-type display similar to the ones worn by pilots which will most likely target Xbox gamers and other media viewers at home. Going beyond its looks, we are not very sure if hard-core Xbox gamers who already heat up (literally) during gameplay, will like to wear a helmet (of any kind). Nonetheless, Microsoft may already have a solution for this possible issue.

Sony Head Mounted 3D display HMZ T1

Sony Head Mounted 3D display HMZ T1

The second style is more similar to the much awaited Google Glasses, resembling a pair of sunglasses designed for use with smartphones and tablets, portable media players and other mobile devices.  Seen already as ‘cooler’ than the helmet, these might be more appealing to many technology enthusiasts, especially when they promise to come with some great features.

A different image to each eye, thereby capable of 3D images and a projector system that, if worked correctly, would display a 16:9 image “that will appear to the wearer as if it were 21 inches in diagonal and viewed at arm’s length” are only a few features that will keep us excited for some time.

When this product will be launched or whether there is already a working prototype are still unknown. But we are very excited to witness the start of a new battle between the four tech giants which will most likely bring many goodies to the end consumer.

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