The Microsoft HoloLens headset could be used for a variety of applications, and that might even include a new way to interact with the printed page. The company was awarded a patent today that describes a method to show "holographic visual aids" on a head-mounted display when a person is reading a book.
The patent, which was first filed in 2012, lists Alex Kipman, one of the main leaders of the Microsoft HoloLens team, as one of its inventors. Here's its summary:
"A system for generating and displaying holographic visual aids associated with a story to an end user of a head-mounted display device while the end user is reading the story or perceiving the story being read aloud is described. The story may be embodied within a reading object (e.g., a book) in which words of the story may be displayed to the end user. The holographic visual aids may include a predefined character animation that is synchronized to a portion of the story corresponding with the character being animated. A reading pace of a portion of the story may be used to control the playback speed of the predefined character animation in real-time such that the character is perceived to be lip-syncing the story being read aloud. In some cases, an existing book without predetermined AR tags may be augmented with holographic visual aids."
So far, Microsoft has emphasized how HoloLens could be used to make more immersive games, along with applications such as building 3D models and communicating with others. This patent may show that the company has even more ideas for how to use HoloLens.