Between HoloLens and its Windows Mixed Reality efforts, Microsoft has gone all in on virtual and augmented reality systems. But while VR and AR may be separate systems now, Microsoft is looking toward a future in which both will be combined in one headset.
A new patent discovered by German blog Windows United shows what at least a portion of this headset might look like. The patent describes a system that would allow you to adjust a VR headset's opacity, letting you switch between viewing VR content or the world around you on the fly. From the patent description:
Such a system could allow you to switch between viewing immersive VR content to the real world without taking off your headset. Microsoft already offers a more limited version of this capability with the Flashlight feature in Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which uses a combination of a headset's cameras and motion controllers to let you peek out at certain portions of the space around you while immersed in VR.
What would be impressive is if the system described in the patent could be used to seamlessly switch between VR and AR applications on the fly. For example, you could strap the headset on to interact with VR applications, but then change the opacity to display virtual objects on the real world. Microsoft's HoloLens chief Alex Kipman has already been pretty vocal about this being the end goal of mixed reality, allowing you to use one headset for both VR and AR.
Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to email@example.com.
yes, wireless light weight "goggles" that you don't have to take on or off to be in/out of VR/real world vision. that will make it mainstream
This is the next step. Choose between full immersion and AR. That's the dream device. Glad to know it's doable. They wouldn't patent it if they didn't have the working tech, would they?
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