Microsoft patent hints at wand-like augmented reality controller

microsoft patent augmented reality controller arwand01
Microsoft has been awarded a patent for a new type of augmented reality controller that looks like a cross between a Wiimote and a pen. The wand-like input device features a trigger mechanism, some sort of slider button and a rounded button along its length, as well as a finger guard.

HTC, Valve and Oculus VR might be at the forefront of developing new input mechanisms for virtual reality, but controlling augmented reality might be quite different. If Microsoft’s newly awarded patent (via @h0x0d) is anything to go by, it certainly seems to think so.

Originally filed at the start of June 2016, Microsoft’s “augmented reality input device,” looks quite similar to the Google Draw pen for Google Glass. That appears to be a major inspiration for the creation of Microsoft’s tool, too, as it’s mentioned within the patent text.

However, the way this device operates may be quite different to Google’s pen. In a video dug up by Twitter user @ben3094, and released on the same date as the original patent filing, we see what looks very much like the Microsoft AR input device.

It’s not held as you might expect it to be.

Regardless of hand position though, the controllers allow for a trigger and thumb-slide interaction. It seems likely 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. In the above video, we even see the user put one of them down momentarily to allow for more detailed hand-interactions in the digital world.

In the images within the patent itself, we can also see what looks like charging contact points at the base of the input device. That would suggest some sort of docking system for charging, though there are no hard details in the patent itself about that aspect of its operation.

Microsoft’s big augmented reality strategy is still unclear, but it does seem to be looking to replace the entire computing environment with new display technology and input mechanisms. Perhaps it will be the next big technology that will have us leave our traditional keyboard and mice setups behind.

Mobile

5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.
Computing

The Surface Pro 6 is a minimalist update on the best tablet 2-in-1

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, it's a small, but notable update.
Computing

Microsoft addresses Surface Pen accuracy with latest patent application

Microsoft recently filed an patent application which proposes a new way to increase the accuracy of its flagship stylus, the Surface Pen. If implemented, the method has the potential to increase accuracy without reducing its speed.
Mobile

Google still thinks people are interested in modular smartphones

Google has filed new patents related to modular smartphone designs and technology, several years after it discontinued Project Ara, indicating it is still interested in creating phones that are easily modified by the owner.
Gaming

The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

While there weren't a ton of new VR headset on display at CES 2019, the ones we saw led us to believe that VR could have a real moment soon, both from a gaming and business standpoint.
Gaming

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.
Gaming

These shoes let me stroll through ‘Skyrim,’ and I desperately want to go back

After being funded in just two hours on Kickstarter back in October 2018, Cybershoes has earned itself a place among the coolest VR walking and running tech. At CES 2019, we got to try them out and they live up to the hype.
Gaming

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Computing

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.