Microsoft to patent AR glasses to rival Google

The product would rival Google's Project Glass

Microsoft is looking to patent glasses that deliver augmented reality in users' views of the world.

A US patent application describes how the eyewear could bring up statistics or other information from a mobile computer to augment a wearer's view.

Microsoft has said that the glasses could prove useful in a variety of situations, providing examples of sports matches, business conferences, or when users are travelling in cities they are not familiar with.

If developed, the Microsoft product would rival Google's Project Glass - augmented reality glasses expected to be released to developers next year, with a commercial launch planned for 2014.

The Microsoft patent indicates the glasses would be attached to a wrist-worn computer, which perhaps could be controlled by voice commands or eye movements.

Redmond suggests a microphone, a video camera, an infra-red detector, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality could feature in any commercial product.

A recent Juniper Research market report suggests smart glasses and other wearable tech could be worth $1.5 billion (£935 million) worldwide by 2014, with sales expected to boom thereafter.

Analyst firm Semico recently predicted that the overall augmented reality market could be worth a rather more impressive $600 billion (£374 billion) by 2016.

Mobile operator O2 has already invested in augmented reality, where it is integrating AR technology from HP's Aurasma unit into its mobile advertising offerings.

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Tags: Mobile & Wireless, Google, consumer electronics, Juniper Research, Microsoft
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