Back in 2012 we reported about AR (augmented reality) glasses that Microsoft patented and also showed a concept of in a leaked Xbox roadmap dated 2010 that are supposedly codenamed Fortaleza. In fact 123KINECT broke the news of the original AR glasses patent so remember that you saw it here first! Now it seems that they could become a physical reality and include virtual reality as during his GDC “Fireside Chat” Phil Spencer confirmed that they have indeed been working on VR for a quite while after being asked about it in light of Sony’s “Project Morpheus” prototype reveal:
“I think the technology’s really interesting, and it’s definitely something we’ve been playing with for quite a while.”
Here are a few more excerpts from the chat revealing some of Phil Spencer’s thoughts about VR:
We have this huge Microsoft research organization that is pretty important to us as a platform holder in helping us think about what might be next. It’s where Kinect came from, it’s where [Cortana’s] voice system came from, it’s where Drivatars came from. There’s a bunch of stuff in our games that have been berthed out of Microsoft research; thousands of people working there in that team. Looking at things like Oculus, Morpheus–they haven’t sent me one yet–but when I think about VR and its uses in gaming I think there’s a real something there.
I don’t think it’s going to be that every game requires me to put goggles on my face in order to go play it, but … there are real, immersive games where actually being able to completely immerse the user in the experience, both in audio and visuals, can be really compelling.
Will it ever become mainstream? You see these bifurcations; some people are playing simple touch games where you feel like you’re controlling the Death Star, and then other people are putting goggles on their face where they can feel like they’re living in that world 24/7. But the big area in the middle is closer to the casual side in terms of usage.
Sony did a good job with Morpheus and showing it here, and talking to the developer community. Bringing out things that you’re talking about, whether it’s Direct X12 or it’s Morpheus, is why GDC exists. People can bring out technologies that they see a future for and get feedback from the development community. This is absolutely the right kind of forum for that.
You can see some images from the AR glasses patents below, click on the pics for larger and less compressed images:
And here is a re-creation of a couple of pics from the leaked roadmap to avoid any legal issues that you can click on for larger images. The actual original images from the leaked documents can be seen here and here.
Augmented reality and virtual reality incorporated with Kinect 2, which is the perfect controller for the technology, would create total immersion and the potential for games would be virtually limitless! Are you excited about the possiblities of AR and VR on Xbox One? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: GameSpot, US Patent & Trademark Office (Patent 1), US Patent & Trademark Office (Patent 2)