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

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

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

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.

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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]

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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