Microsoft plots augmented-reality specs to rival Google Glass

Microsoft is eyeing up Google's Project Glass with plans for its own high-tech specs.

Microsoft is eyeing up Google's Project Glass with plans for its own high-tech specs. They say eyes are the window to the soul, and the folks behind Windows are putting information in front of your eyes with a proposed pair of augmented reality glasses.

US patent application 20,120,293,548 covers "a system and method to present a user wearing a head-mounted display with supplemental information when viewing a live event".

That means gadget goggles that show you information about whatever you're watching, perhaps popping up stats about a sporting event or tweets from people nearby. Personally I'd like to see Pop Up Video-style facts hovering into view as I wander around.

The Microsoft specs seem to differ from Google's goggles because they're apparently designed for use at specific events rather than for general wear as you walk around, chat to people and jump out of aeroplanes.

The Microsoft patent suggests wearing the glasses at a baseball game, where the wearer would be "simultaneously receiving information on objects, including people, within the user's field of view". So you'd get all the stats you see on TV, but all the atmosphere and fried food of being at the game.

This is only a patent, so may never land on shop shelves. Google's Project Glass is set to go on sale, but costs an eye-watering £1,000. If it's successful, will we see a rash of feature-packed face furniture? Microsoft isn't the only company making gadget glasses to rival Google: challengers include the Olympus MEG4.0 , as well as a planned set of Sony specs .

What do you think of high-tech specs? Would you make passes at geeks wearing glasses, or does the opposite sex not like specs? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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