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Microsoft toys with augmented-reality glasses for Xbox

In a newly published patent application, the company describes a method for matching players for multiplayer games via a head-mounted display device.

Microsoft's U.S. patent application for a multiplayer gaming head-mounted display.
U.S. Patent Office

Microsoft may be getting its augmented-reality game on for the Xbox. In a newly published patent application, the company details augmented-reality glasses and a method for matching players via the glasses.

A system and related methods for inviting a potential player to participate in a multiplayer game via a user head-mounted display device are provided. In one example, a potential player invitation program receives user voice data and determines that the user voice data is an invitation to participate in a multiplayer game. The program receives eye-tracking information, depth information, facial recognition information, potential player head-mounted display device information, and/or potential player voice data. The program associates the invitation with the potential player using the eye-tracking information, the depth information, the facial recognition information, the potential player head-mounted display device information, and/or the potential player voice data. The program matches a potential player account with the potential player. The program receives an acceptance response from the potential player, and joins the potential player account with a user account in participating in the multiplayer game.

The key part of the patent filing is using eye-tracking, depth information, facial recognition, and other sensor information to enable multiple players to inhabit the same virtual game space, such as two players sword fighting. The filing states that the "depth information comprises a measured depth of an interaction space in which the user and the potential player are located, and the potential player invitation program is further configured to use the depth information to select a suggested multiplayer game that is physically compatible with the measured depth of the interaction space; and suggest to the user the suggested multiplayer game."

A schematic view of one embodiment of a multiplayer game invitation system for visually augmenting an appearance of an interaction environment as seen through a display in a head-mounted display (HMD) device. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Microsoft has toyed with the idea of augmented-reality glasses for the Xbox for a few years, as revealed in June 2012 in a project dubbed Fortaleza for glasses that would work over Wi-Fi or 4G. Microsoft could provide the software and specifications, and work with third parties who manufacture and sell augmented-reality glasses.

More than 70 Microsoft patent applications were published on Thursday, ranging from a method for synchronous document conversion to efficiently throttling user authentication.

[Via Ars Technica and NeoGAF].