Tag: xbox

Augmented reality glasses from Microsoft may be on the back burner

It has been reported from a number of technology news sources that Project Fortaleza is on hold.

Although the rumors have been flying about a pair of augmented reality glasses that were expected to be released at some point in the not-too-distant future, by Microsoft, reports are suddenly being released that suggest that the wait is going to be considerably longer than expected because the project, as a whole, has been put on hold.

Expectations for AR wearable technology have been high since a Microsoft patent was leaked last year.

The augmented reality device had been in the works as a peripheral for Xbox One. The codename for this product was called “Project Fortaleza”. That said, since that first leak, there hasn’t been a great deal of information that has come available from the company. Moreover, Microsoft, itself, has never confirmed or denied that the wearable technology exists, at all. Now, it looks as though the Project Fortaleza work has been “temporarily cancelled”. The original report was made on WPDang, a Chinese website.

This suggests that the augmented reality project is simply on hold and not actually stopped altogether.

Augmented Reality Glasses for Xbox delayAccording to the source, the reason that the AR glasses are being placed on the back burner has nothing to do with the actually implementing the technology. The development of the device didn’t seem to be coming with any hitches, at all. However, a considerable number of the tech patents that are involved in the process of making this device do not actually belong to Microsoft. Therefore, the company would be required to license those patents – an action that is now keeping Fortaleza from becoming available to Xbox One owners.

Some of the patents have already been licensed for the Kinect sensor’s second generation, but those licenses are specifically meant for that one device and cannot be carried over to be used for anything else.

Until those issues are sorted out, it is clear that the primary push being made by Microsoft will not be in augmented reality. This could end up presenting the company with some challenges as it looks as though Sony and its Oculus are hoping to be the next breakthrough in VR gaming.

Augmented reality wearable tech assets purchased by Microsoft

In a deal that has been reported to be worth up to $150 million the Xbox maker is in even more deeply.

Microsoft is making technology news headlines with the latest rumors that have surrounded its move toward augmented reality, as claims are now being made that the company has paid as much as $150 million into the purchase of assets relating to AR and head mounted wearable technology.

It is believed that the assets were purchased by Microsoft from the Osterhout Design Group (ODG).

ODG is a technology company that creates various types of products for several markets, including consumer, military, and industrial. Microsoft had previously been in discussions to attempt to actually purchase the company, but has instead come up with the deal to purchase some of its IP, instead. The price of this acquisition is believed to be somewhere between $100 million and $150 million. It is strongly believed that augmented reality and wearable technology play a considerable role in this purchase.

This augmented reality and IP technology deal reportedly closed way back in November 2013.

At the same time, the patents were reported to have been handed over to Microsoft in January of this year. Among the patents that were reportedly snatched up by the tech giant are items described as “see-through near-eye display glasses including a partially reflective, partially transmitting optical element,” in addition to “video display modification based on sensor input for a see-through near-to-eye display.”Augmented Reality - Microsoft

By the time that this article was written, Microsoft had not released any official comments about the reports that have been made about the AR technology or the patents. Therefore, it shouldn’t be considered to be carved in stone. However, the reports were made by sources that have been very accurate in the past.

If Microsoft did, indeed, obtain these wearable technology and augmented reality assets, then there are a very broad range of different possibilities for the ways in which they could be used. While some seem to think that it could be for gaming, more specifically for future Xbox releases, others are guessing that it may mean something more comparable to Google Glass. Until something official is actually released, there will be no way of knowing for certain.