Microsoft has filed a patent for what appears to be an augmented reality headset, most likely for use with future generation Xbox 720 hardware and mobile devices.
Discovered by PatentBolt, the software giant has apparently been working on a pair of designs for some time since 2010, with the first being a fully fledged helmet and the other more of a sunglasses-like design. The large headset seems likely to be a virtual large screen, high resolution system designed for gaming or media viewing in the home, while the second could be more suited to being on the move - bringing a translucent screened augmented reality to the masses.
The patent filing reveals that the full headset system could have the ability to offer a different image to each eye, thereby offering 3D and potentially a basic virtual reality system - especially if it was somehow combined with Kinect gesture controls. The only trouble might be staying still while you do it, you don't want to go crashing into the wall while swinging a virtual sword around.
One problem with this sort of eye-wear in the past has been that the human eye has trouble focusing on anything a few inches away. To counter that, Microsoft has developed a projector system that if working 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."
While this sort of system might not be right for every game, certain titles would be perfect. With the integration of Kinect or TrackIR you'd be able to have full head motion detection. This could potentially remove the needed second thumbstick on a controller for viewing and let it be used for something else - a second sword arm perhaps? Dual wield? Yes please.
Image Credit: Patent Bolt