If you can remember back to the beginning of the year, a document was leaked that seemed to break down a lot of Microsoft’s ideas for what has now become known as the Xbox One. The focus of an updated and improved Kinect camera, as well as ‘always on’ connectivity has since been revealed to be “bang on the money”. However, the other big surprise in the document – the AR ‘Fortaleza’ glasses, has yet to be confirmed or denied. Fortunately, more evidence has come to light that Microsoft is working on some glasses tech for their next-generation console.
A patent has been uncovered, which shows a very Google Glass inspired product. The device is stated to support the searching for and acceptance of multiplayer games by using AR tech on a heads-up display. Here is the breakdown of the description from the US patent office:
“A system and related methods for inviting a potential player to participate in a multiplayer game via a user head-mounted display device are provided. In one example, a potential player invitation program receives user voice data and determines that the user voice data is an invitation to participate in a multiplayer game. The program receives eye-tracking information, depth information, facial recognition information, potential player head-mounted display device information, and/or potential player voice data. The program associates the invitation with the potential player using the eye-tracking information, the depth information, the facial recognition information, the potential player head-mounted display device information, and/or the potential player voice data. The program matches a potential player account with the potential player. The program receives an acceptance response from the potential player, and joins the potential player account with a user account in participating in the multiplayer game.”
All of this sounds very complicated, but essentially it seems to display multiplayer data on the glasses, while also tracking head-movement. While no direct gaming plans are discussed in the patent, it seems very likely that the glasses could work with the Kinect to introduce some really interesting new types of games and gaming interfaces.
Of course this patent doesn’t necessarily indicate that Microsoft is actively working on this device, or that it will see a life as an Xbox One peripheral. On the other hand, if that original leaked document was correct, we will be seeing much more of this device over the next couple of years as it could form a ‘second wave’ of Xbox One releases in 2015.