Microsoft, purchased $100-150 million worth of AR patents.

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#1 Posted by misterpmedia (6209 posts) -

Full title: Microsoft has purchased $100-150 million worth of Agumented Reality patents

Source 1
Sowase 2

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.

As you might remember, we first broke the news that Microsoft was looking at acquiring ODG, or part of its assets, in September 2013, at a price tag of up to $200 million, depending on what went into the deal.

Here’s what ended up happening: Microsoft was indeed in discussions with the company, and as we reported, the conversations were focused around whether Microsoft would try to buy the whole company outright or just intellectual property. Ultimately, it worked out to be the latter, for a price that TechCrunch understands is between $100 million and $150 million.

After a source told us that the deal was done, we dug a bit further and managed also to get a confirmation from Ralph Osterhout himself, the low-profile inventor, founder and head of ODG.

"Just to be clear, this was purchase of only 6 approved and 75 in-progress patents augmented reality glasses."

Seems MS are going heavy on the whole AR thing rather than VR. Interdasting

Discuss.

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#2 Posted by shawn30 (4390 posts) -

Lost of behind the scenes moves. MS must have seen something impressive. No doubt something for the One/360 is in the works. Not sure we'll see anything this year though. But good to know they are researching/working on their on AR. I'm honestly not really sold on AR or VR, but we'll see what happens.

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#3 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (24574 posts) -

It finally caught up to the 3DS.

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#4 Edited by Ballroompirate (25858 posts) -

What a waste of money

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#5 Posted by MlauTheDaft (5189 posts) -

@misterpmedia:

Either they're getting into AR or maybe they're just getting ready to patent troll ;)

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#7 Posted by blackace (23576 posts) -

@misterpmedia: Interesting. The headset Microsoft is working on will do both AR & VR, so this little move isn't too surprising.

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#8 Posted by _Matt_ (10433 posts) -

VR >>> AR.

Hopefully MS will do some VR too.

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#9 Posted by GrenadeLauncher (6843 posts) -

Oh man I can't wait to spend $100 on AR glasses so I can have a HUD up in my face.

This is going to fail so hard.

@blackace said:

@misterpmedia:. The headset Microsoft is working on will do both AR & VR,

Nope.

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#10 Edited by lostrib (49999 posts) -

@jimmy_russell said:

So they are investing in ways to stifle innovation, again. What else is new? Why do we have a thread about this?

Microsoft are literally Satan.

You don't

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#11 Posted by Ballroompirate (25858 posts) -

@_Matt_ said:

VR >>> AR.

Hopefully MS will do some VR too.

Needs moar VR women

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#12 Posted by kuu2 (10239 posts) -

Yay, for more goggles.

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#13 Posted by blackace (23576 posts) -

@GrenadeLauncher said:

Oh man I can't wait to spend $100 on AR glasses so I can have a HUD up in my face.

This is going to fail so hard.

@blackace said:

@misterpmedia:. The headset Microsoft is working on will do both AR & VR,

Nope.

Yup!!! Both!!

http://123kinect.com/gdc-2014-phil-spencer-confirms-vr-fortaleza-glasses/44441/

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#14 Posted by kuu2 (10239 posts) -

No, no, no, no, no!

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#15 Posted by GrenadeLauncher (6843 posts) -

@blackace said:

@GrenadeLauncher said:

Oh man I can't wait to spend $100 on AR glasses so I can have a HUD up in my face.

This is going to fail so hard.

@blackace said:

@misterpmedia:. The headset Microsoft is working on will do both AR & VR,

Nope.

Yup!!! Both!!

http://123kinect.com/gdc-2014-phil-spencer-confirms-vr-fortaleza-glasses/44441/

There's nothing in there to suggest MS VR other than saying they played with some dev kits at a conference once.

They put all their money in Kinect, Fortaleza and Illuminiroom. They backed the wrong horse.

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#16 Posted by nervmeister (15378 posts) -

A bold move on MS's part. We'll see if it pays off.

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#17 Posted by GrenadeLauncher (6843 posts) -

@kuu2 said:

No, no, no, no, no!

I can see how true next gen innovation can frighten you.

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#18 Posted by misterpmedia (6209 posts) -

@GrenadeLauncher said:

@blackace said:

@GrenadeLauncher said:

Oh man I can't wait to spend $100 on AR glasses so I can have a HUD up in my face.

This is going to fail so hard.

@blackace said:

@misterpmedia:. The headset Microsoft is working on will do both AR & VR,

Nope.

Yup!!! Both!!

http://123kinect.com/gdc-2014-phil-spencer-confirms-vr-fortaleza-glasses/44441/

There's nothing in there to suggest MS VR other than saying they played with some dev kits at a conference once.

They put all their money in Kinect, Fortaleza and Illuminiroom. They backed the wrong horse.

Not quite sure that Fortaleza is going to be able to do VR if it comes out as a glasses product...what about immersion etc? Will be interesting to hear more about MS's VR if true....hell even Nintendo's too!(If they're going that way...well they probably should be thinking about it now..)

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#19 Posted by NFJSupreme (6488 posts) -

If companies had the same mentality as some of you nerds we'd still be in the stone age. I don't understand people who say no to innovation. Are you really that much of an idiot fanboy that you are against the advancement of human technology? Sad life some of you live.

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#20 Posted by misterpmedia (6209 posts) -

"Latency of Kinect 2 is "~60 ms with processing" according to MS stats. That's OK for hand waving in front TV, but its not nearly enough for head position tracking for VR.
If they are smart, they have left the room for forcing camera to drop resolution and work at least in 60hz.
PS4 camera on the other hand seems like it was "mysteriously" built to support fast tracking:

720p @ 60hz

640x480 @ 120hz

320x240 @ 240hz"

Interesting comments.

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#21 Posted by lhughey (4538 posts) -

@jimmy_russell said:

So they are investing in ways to stifle innovation, again. What else is new? Why do we have a thread about this?

Microsoft are literally Satan.

You obviously no nothing of their R&D endeavors. Do some research. There's a reason why they spend more in R&D than anyone in the consumer computing space, and its not to stifle innovation.

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#22 Posted by always_explicit (3379 posts) -

MS keep saying over and over they are anticipating a lengthy generation with an emphasis on technology that evolves over the life-cycle of their products. Its one of the reasons I took a punt with the X1. I dont want "just a games console" anymore. I want multinational interesting products that continuously improve. I like new and interesting ways of interacting with my entertainment. People are obviously entitled to write AR and VR off as a fad or something that just doesnt interest them, however I think gaming was always always always destined to go this way.

Escapism and immersion are some of the most important reasons people turn to any form of entertainment. Both are extremely important in video games. VR and AR allow immersion in a totally new and innovative way. To simply dismiss the idea seems really stupid. The potential is incredibly exciting.

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#23 Posted by superclocked (5864 posts) -

If only they had invested in VR tech instead of Kinect this gen.. The Kinect is worthless without it. VR should've come first...

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#24 Posted by blackace (23576 posts) -

@GrenadeLauncher said:

@blackace said:

@GrenadeLauncher said:

Oh man I can't wait to spend $100 on AR glasses so I can have a HUD up in my face.

This is going to fail so hard.

@blackace said:

@misterpmedia:. The headset Microsoft is working on will do both AR & VR,

Nope.

Yup!!! Both!!

http://123kinect.com/gdc-2014-phil-spencer-confirms-vr-fortaleza-glasses/44441/

There's nothing in there to suggest MS VR other than saying they played with some dev kits at a conference once.

They put all their money in Kinect, Fortaleza and Illuminiroom. They backed the wrong horse.

Don't be jelly dude.

"Fireside Chat” Phil Spencer confirmed that they have indeed been working on VR for a quite while after being asked about it in light of Sony’s “Project Morpheus”

They are working on BOTH AR & VR. Chances are pretty good they will be combined in the end. M$ still has a long ways to go to make this reality. Don't see this happening until 2015.