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Microsoft once patented a virtual image projector headset

All your 1990's VR fantasies are embodied in Microsoft's Gaming Helmet patent.

PatentBolt uncovered Microsoft patents for gaming headgear which date back to September 2010.

Microsoft's diagrams show both glasses-like eyewear and an "Xbox Gaming Helmet". The image fields at each eye could be configured for stereoscopic 3D, and could be slightly transparent to allow for projection on real world objects.

The patent proposes to solve the problem of the short focal length a helmet offers with a virtual image projector. Microsoft's idea "comprises a laser configured to form a narrow beam, first and second dilation optics, first and second redirection optics, and a controller". Oh right, yeah, makes perfect sense.

Microsoft has not announced any intention to create such a peripheral, and patents such as these are frequently made as defensive measures rather than with any intent to manufacture a device.

It doesn't sound too dissimilar to what Sony has already achieved with its head-mounted 3D display, but I'm not big on Le Science so click through the link above and have a good look for yourself.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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