Microsoft buys military augmented reality tech company and joins VR race

Osterhout X6You will no doubt have heard about Facebook’s purchase of Oculus Rift and Sony announcement of its Morpheus headset. Well, Microsoft is throwing its virtual reality hat in the ring by buying a specialist company.

Just in case you thought that virtual reality (VR) was just going to be a one horse race 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 – not sure how useful the fog and night vision would be but… a laser rangefinder sounds cool to me.

This makes the arena really interesting when you break it down. We have Facebook buying a gaming headset specialist, presumably for social media immersion whilst Sony has been developing its own VR headset, in-house.

Now we have Microsoft who has bought tech from a military associated AR kit specialist joining that blurring of VR and AR with the Glyph.

Microsoft is due to make announcements at its yearly Build conference later today.

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