Microsoft Patents A Modular VR Device That Can Be Personalized By Every User

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Story Highlights

  • Microsoft has recently patented a new modular VR and AR device that can be customized by each user. It can be altered to meet the needs of its user.
  • The modular device can feature a variety of different display and sensory modules that can be swapped easily by users to fit the appropriate scenarios.
  • The technology, if realized, could change VR and AR games completely, and the headset could become very easy to alter depending on personal needs.
  • Microsoft only recently published a VR patent that sparked rumors that a new device could be in the brewer, and this patent further solidifies the concept.

Microsoft is among the leading giants in mixed reality technology, helming new innovations in the industry against its rivals. The giant conglomerate has recently published a fascinating patent that discusses a modular virtual reality and augmented reality device that is able to be personalized on the spot to meet the needs of every user. Moreover, the patent also affirms that a possible VR or a mixed reality device could be in the works.

The patent dubbed “MODULAR HEAD-MOUNTED DEVICE” discusses how VR technology is continuously improving, yet it is still plagued by various issues that have existed since its creation. VR and AR devices currently do not feature modular models that can be customized to meet the standards of every user. Instead, we get a bulky device that cannot be altered. The patent seeks to solve this problem by creating a modular device.

Various techniques and systems are disclosed for providing a modular design for XR and other head-mounted devices that enable interchangeability and flexibility for such devices, enabling the devices to be easily adapted for a variety of user environments,” mentions Microsoft’s patent.

Shows diagram with aspects of a modular VR device that can be used to add the discussed configurations.
Shows a diagram with aspects of a modular VR device that can be used to add the discussed configurations.

Microsoft writes about the structure and anatomy of the modular head-mounted VR and AR device, stating how it can feature a rigid frame with interchangeable features that can be swapped easily by each user. For instance, multiple modular sensors and display modules can fit into the device at any given moment without any struggle or other issues that could arise from such a technology.

The modular sensor and display module may include a standard interface for attachment to various fit systems, including, for example, headband, VR headset, glasses temples, helmet, and the like. In some embodiments, a further module, such as a rear-attachment module, may be provided that can provide auxiliary compute, storage, and power resources for the modular sensor and display module.”

Diagram shows parts of the modular VR device that can be utilized to implement the various configurations.
Diagram shows parts of the modular VR device that can be utilized to implement the various configurations.

The legal document argues that using a modular VR device can enable independent design and building of systems, letting gamers and other users mix and match different modules to whip up the perfect combination of features at any given moment. A variety of sensory modules can be used, swapping them to fix the current issues of each user. The patent provides an example of a few modules that can be utilized by VR and AR devices:

Accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, environment understanding cameras, depth cameras, inward or outward facing video cameras, microphones, ambient light sensors, and potentially other types of sensors.”

Microsoft also mentions how different modules could work in varied ways with game controllers. It is worth noting the company emphasizes the scope of this technology; it has discussed examples of how the innovation could benefit many vital fields, such as medical and other science-related occupations.

Diagram shows parts of the modular VR device that can be utilized to implement the various configurations.
Diagram shows parts of the modular VR device that can be utilized to implement the various configurations.

Modular VR and AR devices can also mean a new major milestone for the gaming industry, as VR games could expand to a whole new level. While patents often do not come to fruition, the possibility is always there; it is especially strong with this patent since Microsoft only recently patented a new VR device, which caused a slew of rumors that it could be potentially developing a new VR head-mounted device. 

The new patent by Microsoft mentioning a modular VR and AR device only adds further fuel to the fire, suggesting that it could release an innovative device in the future. The notable company has also published patents in various other important fields, as it recently patented a new game controller with a touchpad.

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