Patent talk: A wand-like input device from Microsoft

Credit: United States Patent D795256

(Tech Xplore)—It looks as if Microsoft is thinking in terms of a wand-like controller for augmented reality, if patent-watching is anything to go by. A number of tech sites have reported on a patent dated August 22, spotted by WalkingCat, where Microsoft talks about the "Augmented reality input device."

Tom Warren in The Verge on Tuesday said that it revealed an accessory that looked like wand and had buttons, a trigger, and a finger guard.

Apart from the buttons, the device may also have two USB ports for charging or any additional requirements, said Senior Assistant Editor at Technowize Diana Coker.

Fundamentally, the controller looks like a baton-like wand but tech watchers had their own descriptions.

Parker Wilhelm in TechRadar patent described the design for the input device" that "looks like a cross between a and a pen."

The Verge likewise said it appeared similar to Google's Draw accessory for Google Glass.

Jon Martindale in Digital Trends said while it looked similar, "the way this device operates may be quite different to Google's pen...It's not held as you might expect it to be."

Martindale said that "depending on the game or application being interacted with, the user may be able to hold it in different configurations for different input methods."

This was originally filed in June 2016 and the question now is, if this actually reaches the marketplace, with what products would the device be used?

Details in the patent discussion were few but The Sun wrote that it was very likely the wand would sync to Microsoft's HoloLens headset.

Coker said "the purpose of this device is still uncertain. This device may be an accessory for a HoloLens headset or any other initiative by the tech giant. "

Wilhelm: "It's unclear if Microsoft's patented design are intended for the HoloLens headset, a next-gen successor or any other AR initiative." He ventured to say that "as AR gains a foothold, with publisher Ubisoft even developing game prototypes for HoloLens, Microsoft could be looking ahead to the time when consumers will need a reliable controller to make the most out of the blossoming technology."

Nonetheless, MSPoweruser could see how such a wand could enhance the HoloLens. "Currently, the HoloLens mainly uses hand gestures and a clicker, but an actual pointing device would increase the accuracy with which items can be selected and used, and make users more comfortable manipulating items."

Jesse Damiani in VRScout pointed out why the made HoloLens sense: "This product would dovetail with the current HoloLens ecosystem, from both a hard- and software standpoint. It's a natural extension of the clicker accessory, and would amplify the embodiment for experiences ranging from 3-D painting to RoboRaid."

Explore further: HoloLens HPU: Second version will incorporate AI coprocessor

More information: Augmented reality input device, United States Patent D795256, www.freepatentsonline.com/D795256.pdf

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