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Report: Microsoft pays up to $150M for augmented reality hardware IP

S. Prell, @SamPrell

The rumors swirling around Microsoft's me-too attitude regarding virtual reality may be more than idle gossip, according to TechCrunch. Citing unnamed sources, the site reports that Microsoft has purchased augmented reality-related intellectual property of wearable tech company Osterhout Design Group for between $100 and $150 million.

The big thing to note here is that Microsoft's IP acquisition revolves around augmented reality, not virtual reality. Think Google Glass, which is augmented reality, vs. Oculus Rift, which is virtual reality - the former lets you see the world with more information and visual enhancements, while the latter completely replaces the world and what you see with an entirely separate one.

It's also not clear whether this acquisition will lead to anything resembling the Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus for the Xbox; wearable tech is gaining traction in the mobile markets, with devices such as the Galaxy Gear from Samsung now on their second design iteration. In other words, Microsoft's acquisition of ODG's intellectual property may lead to new products which attach to Windows Phone as opposed to Xbox.

Really, any guess is fair game at this point. We won't know for sure how Microsoft intends to penetrate the VR and/or AR tech space until they themselves announce what, if anything, they're working on.
[Image: Microsoft]

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