Microsoft may be betting big on Kinect by making it mandatory with every Xbox One console, but a newly revealed patent suggests the company is poking around with the idea of using augmented reality glasses to make gaming more immersive.
Discovered by NeoGAF, the Microsoft patent outlines a number of ways a head-mounted display could be used during multiplayer gaming. According to the patent's abstract posted on the US Patent & Trademark Office website, the AR visor could recognize voice data from a person and use that info to invite other people into a multiplayer gamer. Another scenario involves using eye-tracking and facial recognition to do the same.
Additionally, the glasses would also be capable of displaying, well, augmented reality objects, over real-world objects. For instance the patent states "a dialog box indicating the active game being played may be displayed above the head of the second potential player and the third potential player". That sounds like a good way to make an immersive RPG somehow.
Here's a picture of the glasses from the patent:
Interestingly enough, Microsoft's AR glasses patent has sparked rumors that they are the "Fortaleza Glasses" outlined in the massive 56-page Xbox One manual that leaked last year. The roadmap from that document suggested the glasses could come out by 2015.
Of course, it's important to remember that the patent is just that — a patent. It's possible the idea will never see the light of day. But we can all dream that it'll become a reality one day, along with the IlluminiRoom concept shown earlier this year.