By Stephen Schenck | November 23, 2012 4:57 PM
Google’s Project Glass could be one of the company’s biggest rolls of the dice in the field of personal electronics to date. The developers-only Google Glass Explorer Edition should be arriving early next year, and maybe by then we’ll finally start getting a sense for if there’s a real product under all this, or if it’s going to stagnate as little more than an expensive toy. Apparently, Google’s not the only one with its eye on this kind of head-mounted display (no pun intended), and a recent patent filing reveals Microsoft’s been working on a similar system.
From the sound of things, Microsoft has been developing the idea for its own glasses display with a much more limited scope in mind. The patent application describes these glasses specifically being used in conjunction with live events, especially sports, where the glasses could provide fans with additional info on the game. With capabilities like displaying instant replays, it’s clear from Microsoft’s description that the hardware would be able to do a lot more than just what’s described in the patent, which makes us a bit curious why the company would limit itself so much.
Perhaps it’s concerned about cost; we know the Project Glass dev units are running $1500, so maybe Microsoft wants something where the cost would be footed by the owners of arenas and theaters, rather than the public itself. Still, there’s definitely the groundwork here for an augmented reality system that would work hand-in-hand with Windows Phone, should Microsoft ever consider going down that path.