Microsoft Paid Up To $150M To Buy Wearable Computing IP From The Osterhout Design Group

Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it had acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion, and it turns out that this isn’t the only recent piece of M&A in the category of head-mounted wearable computing. Microsoft, we have discovered, has paid up to $150 million to buy IP assets related to augmented reality, head-borne computers, and related items from the Osterhout Design Group, a low-profile company that develops wearable computing devices and other gadgets, these days primarily for the military and other government organizations.

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CYCLEGAMER2374d ago (Edited 2374d ago )

Seems like while others are going the VR route, MS is looking to move into augmented reality. I can dig it!!

Agreed, this stuff will be very interesting, I cannot wait to see how the next couple of years will pan out.

ArbitorChief2374d ago (Edited 2374d ago )

Really fascinated by both VR and Augmented reality (AR), both have so much potential. I wonder if AR will bring that IllumniRoom technology for XB1.

You could play Board Games through AR, that would be awesome.

christocolus2374d ago (Edited 2374d ago )

Cant wait to see what MS is working on... theyve been busy with fortazella and illumiroom for a while now and even rumors of their very own VR have come up is about 10 days away..i hope we get to hear some game related announcements at the event.

Eonjay2374d ago

This reminds me of Google Glass (obviously) but has the aesthetic of a pair of 3D glasses for better or worse. Its not meant to provide immersive omni-directional gameplay, but can project information off the screen to you. Perhaps, this can be used in conjunction with Kinect to create depth of field effects. I really don't know what to make of it at this point but it is certain different from VR.

Gunstar752374d ago

I thought illumiroom looked great, but it isn't going to happen. To cumbersome to set up and too expensive.


darthv722374d ago

With AR you are not totally immersed in what you are doing as you can still see reality. so this is something that looks to be associated with their windows phone line and tablets.

you could still be working while not exactly looking at the screen of the phone or tablet or if used with video games it can act as a HUD that would not need to appear on the tv screen but right in the peripheral vision of the wearer.

VR totally encompasses your FOV so you cant see anything but what the internal screens display.

frostypants2374d ago

If you have VR goggles, that illumiroom stuff becomes kind of pointless, no?

redwin2373d ago

The way I understand from what I read I the past, it can be both, vr and ilumiroom. Whatever it is I'm excited .

SporadikStyles2373d ago

Illumiroom looks brilliant IMO, but for now all we really need is an API for devs to use smart light bulbs (ie. Philips, Samsung, LG bulbs). That would be good enough for me. I've been dreaming of that for over a decade now and smart bulbs make this so easy to happen.

Nice to see a comment section MS witch hunt free for a change!

hellzsupernova2373d ago

They could sell virtual tickets to sport matches where you could have an avatar login with your friends from around the world into a digital stadium and watch the match togeather like you were actually there.

TI_212373d ago (Edited 2373d ago )

But what would AR be used for in gaming?
I don't see it being used like a VR device since 3D worlds would overlap and clip with your environment. All I can think of is some casual stuff for Kinect and HUDs.

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3-4-52374d ago

Also = Two LESS $75 million dollar games

Also = 1 LESS Mega AAA games being released

All this money being spend elsewhere, in past generations would have gone to just games.

It's decisions like this here and there that lead to their being less games.

Vames2374d ago

Bear in mind that Microsoft is not just a video game related company, and must attend to other parts of its business.

You seem like an addict when you speak like that. Enjoy gaming, but don't become an addict.

yourfather2374d ago

It's like saying MS should put every money they have to develop games,and if not,that automatically means they're not develop any games.

LackaJaKane2374d ago


Hopefully these glasses help expand your tunnel vision

christocolus2374d ago (Edited 2374d ago )


Going by that logic the $7bn used to aquire nokia would equate to 125 aa

You do realise MS spends billions yearly on RD ,Patents and small aquisitions such as this and so you know the $1bn for games isnt going to be a one time investment for the life time of the xbox one...they will dflefinitly keep investing more through out the consoles life cycle.

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medman2373d ago (Edited 2373d ago )

I prefer to augment my reality with pharmaceuticals and a quality scotch.

LexHazard792373d ago

Oh yes, yes, yes..... bubble for you my friend!

BallsEye2373d ago

Pretty sure that's what they were planning all the way. MS knew what they were doing by forcing Kinect. All you will need to get is the glasses to enjoy game full potential, on ps4 you need to buy VR + Camera + 2 move controllers to make it work like they demoed.

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NYC_Gamer2374d ago

The patents are a very important part of the deal

Cryptcuzz2374d ago

Yeah, because they can apply he patents to be used in other industries that they can potentially make money off of. Military, medical, education, gaming, etc.

Patents are most of the time what companies pay a lot of money for. For example, Google paid a lot of money for Motorola because they have a lot of key patents related to telecommunication.

corvusmd2374d ago

Nice, MS seems to be taking the time to do this right, and explore all options. Obviously it's too early to tell because they haven't released a final product, but if all the patents are put to good use and the rumors are all true, this will EASILY be my favorite AR/VR device of the big three.

nicksetzer12374d ago ShowReplies(3)
frostypants2374d ago

How can you claim this will "easily" be your favorite? There's not enough info to even begin to develop an opinion on that front.

Chanogram2374d ago

AR > VR for games, at least for me (just a opinion).

The idea of putting on a full headset like oculus or morpheus sounds immersive, but it also takes you out of your surroundings. I love sitting around with friends/family and playing games. If we're all wearing a "helmet" then you lose that social aspect. In some ways/games it would be amazing though.

With AR (like the picture in the article) you get something akin to VR, but also arent completely removed from reality. This fits in better with what i want out of gaming.

If Oculus/morpheus/fortazela (or whatever MS does) are all done well, they will all succeed because everyone is looking for different experiences. I hope they all pan out and none of them fail. Bring on the tech!

OC_MurphysLaw2374d ago

I am not sure I see this as much "gaming related" as this is more their solution / answer to Google Glasses.

No_Limit2374d ago

This looks mighty familiar to the "Fortaleza" glasses that was shown in the leaked 2012 roadmap for Xbox One.
"By 2014, the planning document sees Microsoft following Google into the hands-free, head-mounted display space with a product that is referred to as both "Kinect Glasses" and "Fortaleza Glasses" at different points. The "breakthrough heads-up, hands-free" devices will "deliver ambient experiences" and provide "seamless integration of the digital world with the physical world." Through Xbox Live, the glasses will be able to provide "real time information on people, places and objects." A sketch of the concept shows a holographic cowboy hovering in front of the TV screen as glasses-equipped players view it from all angles."

kwyjibo2374d ago

Their "answer" is probably just to sue every manufacturer of Google Glass products for patent royalties after failing to come up with a competitive solution.

Microsoft are making more from Android than from Windows Phone.

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