Good news everyone! Microsoft has signed a licensing agreement with GeoVector Corporation, a company who actually held the original trademark on "Augmented Reality". The deal is to bring GeoVector patented "Augmented Reality, pointing-based local search and other aspects of spatially aware mobile computing" to what else, but Windows Phones.
The deal is non-exclusive, meaning our rivals can still have access to GeoVector's technology (they already have "World Surfer" on Android and the iPhone), but since this licensing is being done by Microsoft, we're more likely to see this technology embedded into the OS directly, enhancing Bing services, rather than just "add on" software like other mobile OSs.
As you can see above, their big claim to fame is their "pointing-based local search" where the phone is like a computer mouse "...for the real world" allowing the user to point and click in any direction, identifying objects in its path. No word on when we can see the results of a GeoVector/Microsoft collaboration, but hopefully it'll be in time for "Apollo" aka Winodws Phone 8.
Check out the press release after the break.
For Immediate Release
Microsoft Licenses Unique Technology for Augmented Reality and Pointing-Based Mobile Local Search from GeoVector
- Licensing Agreement Provides Microsoft with access to GeoVector’s Substantial Portfolio of Patents for Spatially Aware Mobile Computing
San Francisco, CA - July 13, 2011
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has entered into a licensing agreement with GeoVector® Corporation, the world leader in Augmented Reality and pointing-based local search solutions for mobile devices. The non-exclusive multi-year agreement gives Microsoft rights to use concepts covered by GeoVector’s patents.
“We are thrilled to have Microsoft join the growing number of GeoVector licensees,” said John Ellenby, GeoVector’s President and CEO. “This agreement further validates GeoVector's industry-leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on additional licensing opportunities as we bring our location-based technology to market through our partners and licensees.”
The patents included in the agreement cover Augmented Reality, pointing-based local search and other aspects of spatially aware mobile computing. Other terms of the agreement were not released.
About GeoVector Corporation
Founded in 1991 and headquartered in San Francisco, CA, GeoVector develops solutions for the efficient delivery of location-based services. Supported by significant intellectual property dating back to 1993, GeoVector’s award-winning spatial search technologies provide the foundation for new Pointing and Augmented Reality applications. For more information, please visit www.geovector.com.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.