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Microsoft gets a patent for Google Glass rival

Augmented reality competition
Fri Nov 23 2012, 12:17
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SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has been granted a patent on augmented reality spectacles that strongly suggests the firm is working on a rival to Google's Glass.

Google impressed many with its Google Glass presentation earlier this year, which included skydivers, BMX riders and a pair of augmented reality spectacles. Now it seems Microsoft has also been working on a similar device to overlay information in front of the wearer's eyes.

According to Microsoft's patent application that was granted yesterday, it is a "system and method to present a user wearing a head mounted display with supplemental information when viewing a live event". It seems that Microsoft is pitching this patent around the use case of live events to overlay related information such as sports statistics.

Microsoft's application, which was filed on 20 May 2011, says the data would be presented on a "head mounted display" and unlike Google's Glass, which has one screen that the firm claims users would only glance at, Microsoft's illustrations show a more traditional two lens design.

Given Microsoft's work on object recognition through its Kinect sensor array, wearable augmented reality devices seem like a natural progression for the company. However unlike Google, which has already demonstrated prototypes and said developers will be able to buy Glass next year, Microsoft has yet to disclose any plans for a wearable device. Nevertheless, considering the date of Microsoft's patent application, it seems that the company isn't too far behind Google. µ


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