updated 11:25 pm EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
Tech allows viewer to focus beyond glasses
Microsoft has filed a patent application for a "laser-scanning virtual image display," which is described as a compact display system that can be built into glasses, helmets or goggles. Head-mounted displays are not new, however the patent application describes a method for projector-based presentation rather than placing a small LCD panel directly in front of each eye.
In one potential embodiment of such technology, Microsoft describes a helmet that integrates a laser projector for each eye. By using projectors, rather than traditional panel displays, the system is claimed to be capable of creating dual 16:9 images that the user will perceive as being 21 inches from corner to corner and an arm's length away.
The patent authors further suggest that the technology could be used to project virtual images of infinitely distant objects, which can be viewed clearly when the wearer's eye is focused at an infinite distance. The company also believes that the projectors could be partially transparent, enabling users to seamlessly shift their gaze from an external object to a virtual image that appears to be an infinite distance away.
Like many of the latest televisions, the head-mounted system is said to be capable of switching between 2D and 3D presentation. The application notes suggest the technology may be used in a variety of applications, "ranging from video gaming to aviation." [via Engadget]