Is Microsoft Building A Headset To Take On The Oculus Rift?

The company filed a patent for a multiplayer head-mounted gaming display.

A sign that Microsoft won't be sitting idly as fanboys drool over the Oculus Rift, the company has filed a patent for a multiplayer head-mounted gaming display that could incorporate eye-tracking, facial recognition, and voice interaction.

According to the filing, the headset might feature a transparent or partially transparent display and utilize a bevy of sensors to determine a player's position. The eye-tracking system could use an inward-facing image sensor to determine where a player is looking. Meanwhile, an outward-facing sensor would detect movements in the field of view, such as gestures and movements, and employ a number of optics, including a depth camera, visible-light camera, infrared camera, and/or position-tracking camera. Motion sensors--including three accelerometers and three gyroscopes--could be used to derive the headset's position and potentially detect neck, head, and body gestures.

The sensors and capabilities of this potential Microsoft headset point to a more immersive gaming experience and certainly has its parallels to the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, which is currently available for pre-order.

[Images: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Flickr user Scott Akerman]

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