By Khurram Aziz | Nov 28, 2012 12:58 PM EST
Microsoft has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for Augmented Reality (AR) glasses that would enhance sports and other live events with streams of information beamed directly in front of the user - even including action replays and lyrics of songs.
The device is similar to Google's planned augmented reality glasses, Google Glass, which it hopes to deliver to developers early next year and then follow with a release to consumers in 2014.
With Microsoft also readying to launch its next generation Xbox video games console next year, some are speculating the new AR glasses will find their way onto the console.
AR is a hotly tipped new piece of technology which consultancy firm Mind Commerce predicted earlier this year would see revenues in excess of $3 billion by 2015.
The consultancy firm predicts that apps related to AR will themselves reach $2.2 billion by 2015 and, with Google and Microsoft fierce competitors in this sector, both seem ready to launch their own AR devices.
Microsoft's patent application covers a computer-implemented method for providing "supplemental information describing at least the objects in the field of view of the user," and was filed with the USPTO in May last year.
However, unlike Google Glass spectacles which comprise an Android-powered display, a webcam, a GPS locator and an internet connection node built into one side of a pair of glasses, Microsoft doesn't seem to be aiming its AR eye-piece for everyday use.
In its patent application, Microsoft is aiming its gear at live events, such as football games, with a device that could add statistics and replays to matches.
The application reads: "Technology is presented to provide a user wearing a head mounted display with supplemental information when viewing a live event. The information is provided about actions and objects occurring within an event and within the user's field of view. A user wearing an at least partially see-through, head mounted display can view the live event while simultaneously receiving information on objects, including people, within the user's field of view, while wearing the head mounted display. The information is presented in a position in the head mounted display which does not interfere with the user's enjoyment of the live event."
The patent application sites Kathryn Stone Perez, executive producer of the Xbox Incubation unit which created the Kinect sensor, as the filer. That could hint at a tie-in with the Kinect technology and perhaps an appearance on the Xbox 720 at a later date.