Amazon is not happy with the current slate of augmented reality devices, with a patent filing teasing the retail giant’s plans to ditch the headsets in favour of a whole room experience.
According to a recent patent filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Amazon has plans to mimic Microsoft’s RoomAlive concept by transforming the whole room into a digital environment.
The similarities between Amazon and Microsoft’s ambitions run deep; both use a combination of projectors and cameras.
While Microsoft has its own Xbox Kinect camera to utilise for RoomAlive, Amazon’s plans appear to use proprietary hardware equipped with both a 3D-depth sensing camera and a projector.
Unlike Microsoft’s RoomAlive, which uses multiple projectors to turn the room into a virtual space, Amazon claims that its technology needs just one projector. It has also managed to eliminate the need to ‘calibrate and recalibrate the system on an ongoing basis’.
In recent days Amazon has filed for two patents in the augmented reality area. One patent is for ‘object tracking’; this uses a system of projectors and cameras to beam virtual objects onto real objects. Amazon’s technology can then track any object or hand that interacts with these virtual items.
The other patent is more akin to Microsoft’s RoomAlive and is dubbed ‘reflector-based depth mapping’.
Both of these technologies remain patents for the time being and Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division has yet to show off a working prototype.
With both Microsoft and Amazon now on the case, it should not be too long before installers are integrating augmented reality cameras and projectors into homes that untether the user from a VR headset.
More Virtual Reality