Microsoft patents augmented reality glasses

23.11.2012 - 15:17

The US tech firm has obtained a patent to work on its smart glasses, which will compete against Google's Project Glass.

While Google plans to deliver its glasses to developers early next year and then  to consumers in 2014, Microsoft's launch is still unknown.

The main difference between both smart glasses is that Microsoft's product, which patent was filed in May 2011, was designed as something users wear specifically for live events, like baseball games, rather than all day.

Therefore, the glasses could be delivered to spectators at the beginning of an event, in much the same way as 3D glasses are at the movies today.

"The information is presented in a position in the head mounted display which does not interfere with the user's enjoyment of the live event”,  the document says. Augmented reality head-wear would avoid the risk of missing a key moment and also make it possible to see effects reserved for people watching TV, the company says.

The smart device also allows users to watch videos, such an instant replay of the live event, with a completely opaque mode.

Besides, the company suggests a wrist-worn computer could be used to operate the glasses, or alternatively the user might control it through voice-commands and with eye-tracking.

Some have questioned whether these kind of devices will be useful and when we will wear them. According to a report by Juniper Research, the market for smart glasses and other next-generation wearable tech could be worth $1.5 billion by 2014 and would multiply over following years.

"We think smart glasses and other head-worn displays will be the next major form-factor for computing with adoption by consumers beginning around late-2014 to 2017," he told the BBC.