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Microsoft patents transparent laptop display with the ability to project holograms

Microsoft seems to be on the roll with futuristic patents lately. In addition to the augmented reality gaming glasses that were filed by the company, another patent has come to light for a laptop with a transparent display.

According to the patent, a small projector attached to the base of the unit would be able to display floating 3D images in midair. These images would appear as holograms to the user viewing the machine and would appear as semi-translucent – not solid structures.

Unlike some patent fillings, this one is not the most forthcoming with information and most of our assertions are based upon the image shown above.

Transparent laptop displays are not a new concept, but if Microsoft plans on adding a 3D hologram like effect to the situation than they may be on to something interesting. The diagram doesn’t show a need for any bulky glasses which is what we like to see.

Just a concept or something more – what do you think?

Source: NBC News, United States Patent and Trademark Office

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Reader comments

Microsoft patents transparent laptop display with the ability to project holograms

38 Comments

Do you need to have the technology ready to file for a patent or can you just patent the idea the moment someone thinks of it?

Nope, you can just patent the idea and then build it or not at a later date. Or you can do what Apple does and sue the arse off anyone who comes up with any idea that is remotely similar to an idea that you may have had or bought from another company.
 
Also see patent trolls who buy up patents with the intent of screwing money out of people, a good point of reference for this is the guys who are trying to claim that they own the idea behind podcasts and are trying to extort royalties from anyone who has ever made a podcast ever.
 
I understand the idea of protecting intellectual property, but patent law is used to hamper innovation far more often than it is used to support it. 
 
Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant. 

I know what you're getting at and I agree that it is downright silly to patent something with nothing to show for it or the wheel for that matter.  Case in point - patenting a rectangle with round corners.  This is different, microsoft didn't pull this out the blue. There's prior art, mostly by Microsoft.  Microsoft has been doing extensive research on 3d/hologram/teleconferencing for years now.  This patent might indicate that they're almost ready to put forth a commercial model of sorts.  There's vermeer, 3d conferencing, and just recently MIT's $10 realtime holographic display.  Wouldn't it be awesome if they could bring Cortana to 3d holographic life? ;)

Reminds me of an old hologram Arcade game I played as a kid growing up, but I don't remember the name of it. It was a fighting game at least.

Hologram Time Traveler - Sega.  It used a huge concave mirror and a CRT monitor which created an optical illusion of a hologram.

Seems like the R&D department is keeping busy as alwasy, all they need now is to hire a markering/sales team to promote stuff...oh wait.

Looking at the picture and reading some of the patent. If this is being projected from right in front of the user or in the picture where you put you hands on a computer wouldn't it be easy to block the view by accidentally covering it with your hand.

O M F G
 
THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE MOST EPIC REPLY OF THE YEAR, I LOL'd at work, and people are like, 'what the heck is up with you?!'.
 
:D

If Microsoft comes up with true hologram tech so you don't need those stupid glasses as you do with 3D screens I would be the first in line to get that, especially if its a Microsoft branded device, with a high build quality like the Surface Pro.