Tag: microsoft wearable technology

Augmented reality glasses patent filed by Microsoft

Microsoft takes a big step toward the wearable glasses market.

Recently, the computer software and electronics company acquired a patent for object-recognizing augmented reality glasses from Osterhout Design Group, a deal worth $150 million.

The smart glasses equipped with this technology could result in people interacting with their environment in a whole new way.

More specifically, the patent for which Microsoft filed is an application called “Wearable Behavior-based Vision System”. The wearable device that could result from this technology may be smart glasses that look like large sunglasses, which could enhance how the wearer interacts with his or her environment.

For instance, if the wearer was crossing the street and a vehicle happened to be approaching at a fast speed, the glasses would warn the wearer if the vehicle was perceived as a threat. In addition to this function, allegedly, the smart glasses could combine the real world with the virtual world. Thus, if the wearer were playing a game using the glasses, for example, and he or she were walking around their home, the glasses will incorporate objects from the real world (ex. furniture) with objects from the game (virtual world).

Rumors about Microsoft developing augmented reality glasses are nothing new.

microsoft - augmented reality glasses patentSince November 2012, there have been rumors circulating about Microsoft working on some form of wearable tech involving glasses. However, by securing this patent, it does seem that the company is serious about entering the wearables space.

On the other hand, simply because a company files for a patent, this does not necessarily mean it will use the technology as has been rumored. Until Microsoft officially releases information regarding what it plans to do with the application, there still is no solid evidence to back the old rumors. After all, it is quite possible that the massive corporation may only be building a prototype device that they have no intention of releasing to the market or at least not for several years down the road.

That being said, if it turns out that Microsoft does create object-recognizing augmented reality glasses, it would produce a smart glass device equipped with unique features that Google Glass would lack.

Smartwatch from Microsoft could be released in the fall

New Microsoft patents have strengthened wearable technology rumors.

Rumors about Microsoft’s smartwatch have faded into the background, particularly with the latest reports regarding Google Android Wear and the many rumors surfacing about Apple’s iWatch, however, two recently published patents hint that Microsoft is still on target to release its own range of wearable devices and a source close to the plans said that this could happen as earlier as October of this year.

Two patents show wrist-worn devices that connect with a smartphone.

Apparently, this same source also mentioned that the watch’s display may be on the inside of the wrist, which would allow the screen to be seen by the wearer when they turn their wrist upwards. Some believe this would make using the smartwatch more “natural” compared to other similar gadgets currently on the market.

Another rumor is that the gadget would not be as bulky as Motorola’s Moto 360 or Samsung’s smartwatches. Instead, the wearable tech from Microsoft is anticipated to be thinner and sleeker in its design, similar to a fitness band like the Nike+Fuelband.

Smartwatch rumors for MicrosoftThe latest two patents published were initially filed in December 2012. Both patents displayed wrist-worn gadgets that link with a smartphone or other smart device. The wearables are equipped with GPS units, accelerometers and heart rate monitors.

While this technology is nothing original compared to what is currently available on the market, Microsoft’s patents existed before devices presently on the market. Thus, it is possible that patent infringements may result.

Microsoft’s smartwatch is rumored to be a cross platform.

Another rumor is that the smart watch may be a cross platform, which means that it could be used with any operating system or phone. This would make it the first smartwatch to be able to sync with Windows, iOS and Android phones. Currently, Samsung’s watches only connect with its own phones. Likewise, it is anticipated that if a watch is released by Apple, it is likely to only work with its handsets and other propriety devices.

The smartwatch from Microsoft has also been rumored to have 11 sensors inside it that include, among other features, a microphone, GPS and accelerometer.