The race for VR headset gaming is on, Microsoft spends $150m to take on Facebook and Oculus
Facebook's purchase of Oculus Rift has kicked off the race to put gaming on headsets soon. Now Microsoft has reportedly spent around $150 million to buy virtual reality tech from smart glasses specialist Osterhout Design Group.
While this company focuses on augmented reality primarily it has created glasses capable of displaying screens within them. Imagine giving up your main screen in the lounge and simply slipping on a pair of glasses with earphones to continue gaming on your Xbox One. Or, if they were HD and responded to head movements, you might not be using the TV in the first place.
The current X6 glasses, made by Osterhout, have dual-HD see-through displays capable of 3D video. They even have infrared vision, for seeing through fog or at night, and a laser rangefinder – though Microsoft probably won't need these bits for gaming.
So while Facebook has bought a gaming headset specialist, presumably for social media immersion, Microsoft has bought tech from a military associated AR kit specialist. The world of VR and AR is very much in a state of flux but it's clear we're on the cusp of a revolution that could see TVs become a thing of the past.
Microsoft is due to make announcements at its yearly Build conference later today. The patents for these glasses were bought back in January. We'd love to hear something on Microsoft's plans in this area but we're not holding our breath at this early stage.