You might have seen science fiction movies where people put on glasses and see a different world. Now, such a reality is no longer just fictional. Microsoft's recent patent is bringing us one step closer to the world of extended reality.
The new patent numbered US11796822B2 talks about a gadget that you wear like glasses or attach to things like helmets and headbands. There's a small problem though. The same extended reality glasses that may work fine in an office may not work so well in a factory or a construction site. This is because these devices are usually custom-made for a certain kind of user and environment, which can be rather limiting and costly.
What's worse, these customizations increase the costs and challenges in design and manufacturing too. So, what if you had to switch between workplaces, or even roles to use these devices? You might need a different device every time.
The patent by Microsoft is aiming at solving this issue. It discusses a flexible design that can be easily adapted for a variety of users and environments. This design is for a module that is entirely self-contained, which means it can do its job without relying on anything else. It also has full processing power and the ability to display images.
Imagine being a construction worker who also has to make presentations in an office. You might need to use the same device to navigate a building site, as well as to display a virtual presentation in an office. With this new invention, you can do just that as the device simply attaches to your glasses or helmet.
And the best part? You can add to it. The invention mentions an additional module which provides added computing power, storage, battery life, and more. So, if you need extra battery for a long day, or more storage for a big project, you can simply add another module to the device.
This sort of technology will completely revolutionize the way we work. Thinking about our previous example, the construction worker no longer needs to flip between different devices. They can simply add or remove modules depending on where they are working, or what they are doing. Further, it can especially transform fields where extended reality devices are increasingly being used, like in medicine where doctors might need different modules for different procedures.
However, it's important to mention that this is still in the patent phase. That means even though it's a detailed description of an invention, it may or may not make it to the market. So while the promise of this adaptable, user-friendly device is exciting, we can only hope to see it in our daily lives sometime soon.