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Wearables are talked up as the next frontier for computing technology, and although Microsoft is reportedly readying a Windows powered line of smartwatches, the company has no intentions of joining the virtual reality party any time soon.

Which is to say, Microsoft branded headsets and glasses are still a few leagues away.

Although the company has invested in acquiring the technology and assets in augmented reality, word is that Redmond is not exactly sold on the idea of such accessories, for now.

Rumors, of course, as Microsoft is yet to make an official comment — but simply put, the company believes such devices are not a viable option right now. And the reason for this is because of patents. Kinect patents, more specifically.

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This report claims that patent restrictions with the Kinect technology means that Microsoft cannot combine glasses and headsets with Kinect, and has shelved the plans for the time being.

Obviously, there are always two sides to the coins.

With all the hustle and bustle around wearable technology such as this, the Microsoft could be missing a beat here. More so on the gaming front. Google Glass is a fascinating piece of hardware, but so is Sony’s Project Morpheus and, of course, the Oculus Rift.

Then again, these devices are still untried and untested by consumers, and may ultimately turn out to be just another fad. An expensive fad, at that.

In which case, Redmond would be better off focusing on things that, you know, actually matter.

What do you guys think?

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  1. Misterbear Fapp / June 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm /Reply

    No finalized, consumer ready products, and no agreed upon standards. I don’t see a reason for Microsoft rush into a darkened train tunnel with everyone else.

    • Agree with you. The technology needs to catch up with the concept before this becomes a feasible and successful venture. Smart, patient move from Redmond.

      • Misterbear Fapp / June 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm /Reply

        I can’t wait for the headset fiasco. Grandmothers will be snatching up cheaply made knockoff headsets as Christmas gifts, which will be broken and in the trash within two months right next to the $50 Android tablets. Next up, the 4k standard wars.

  2. I thought I remember seeing a DLP based HMD that looked promising, but I haven’t seen anything about them since last year. That seemed like the better route to take than an LCD/OLED screen with lenses like the rift, as it was significantly smaller (their prototype was approaching the size of the glasses in the picture on this post), lighter, and easier on the eyes. Except their model didn’t have head tracking or a wide field-of-view or low persistence, which might have been easy to add, but I guess they were more interested in using the HMD with existing 3d movie and video game content as opposed to VR?

    I agree with Misterbear though – the industry’s going to need some agreed upon standards so different headsets can interoperate with the same games. And the first round of consumer hardware needs to set a high bar – even the rift DK2 isn’t going to be good enough to not cause some people to be sick.

    Oh, and no matter what anyone tells you, do NOT try to use VR driven by a mobile device. There is no way a mobile device is going to get you the 90+ Hz refresh rate you need for any game beyond a simple tech demo.

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