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The next big thing in Microsoft’s quest to perfect motion tracking may end up on your head.
An eagle-eyed user of the NEOGAF forum spotted a patent filed by Microsoft filed entitled “Multiplayer Gaming With Head-Mounted Display” The head-mounted display would recognize a second player in a multiplayer game, accept verbal cues to participate in that game, and then use eye tracking to display images within the glasses. The program also coordinates the perception of both players to create a unified visual experience — what is seen by one person from one point of view will be matched by the perception of her opponent.
The patent sounds a lot like the “Kinect Glasses” that were mentioned in reports last year. Using the popular motion-sensing device, the Xbox would theoretically be able to project content “all around” a user and create an interactive “3D” display appearance for multiple users at once. It’s an ambitious effort that would require processing of a ton of separate data points — eye tracking, movement tracking and vocal cues — to create the immersive experience.
Microsoft has expressed a clear interest in moving beyond the TV screen as it thinks about ways to deliver content. Most recently, it created a prototype for its IllumiRoom, a coffee table projector that brings games to the walls of the room, eliminating the confines of the TV. The idea is that games would begin to look more and more like interactive playrooms.