The lights are on
A recent report shows that though Microsoft hasn't shown or demoed any kind of head-mounted technology, like Oculus Rift or Sony's Project Morpheus, it certainly has its eye on it.
According to a report form TechCrunch citing unnamed sources, Microsoft has purchased the intellectual property rights to wearable augmented reality patents from Osterhout Design Group from approximately $150 million. Osterhout Design Group is a quiet company that mostly develops wearable technology for the military. After hearing from its anonymous source that Microsoft had made a purchase, TechCrunch confirmed the purchase with Osterhout Design Group founder Ralph Osterhout, though he did not offer any additional details on the sale.
According to TechCrunch's source, the sale was made in November of last year, but the patents transferred over to Microsoft in January. You can find some of the patents here, which list Microsoft as the assignees as of January 15 of this year.
The technology is not virtual reality, but rather augmented reality technology. The patents showcase something closer to Google Glass, with imagery being projected onto glass worn in front of the users eyes.
Our TakeI would be surprised if Microsoft didn't have something in the wings to compete with Sony's Morpheus and the Oculus Rift. I like the idea that if this is what Microsoft is pursuing (which has many applications outside of connecting to an Xbox) that it would offer some of the same experiences as a Morpheus or Oculus, but also offer something entirely separate. I can't help but get PlayStation Move vibes from Morpheus – PlayStation technology that basically did the exact thing as another piece of popular technology at the time, the Wii.
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.