Microsoft Patents Mixed Reality Wand for HoloLens

Microsoft has patented wand controllers for use with HoloLens.

2017 has been a big year for Microsoft in Mixed Reality. With new creative developments like MR Easter Egg hunts via HoloLens at VRLA, a major giveaway of the Acer MR headset at Vision Summit in May, as well as a first glimpse of the company’s VR motion controllers—it’s clear that Microsoft believes in a fully mixed reality future.

Now, via a patent filing noted by Twitter user @WalkingCat, we see that the company might be prepping to release a controller for the HoloLens—one shaped like a wand.

This product would dovetail with the current HoloLens ecosystem, from both a hard- and software standpoint. It’s a natural extension of the clicker accessory, and would amplify the embodiment for experiences ranging from 3D painting to RoboRaid.

Though this news is still speculative, it aligns with the vision of Mixed Reality that Microsoft presented in a promotional video last year—wherein a user is seen clearly using two wand-like controllers to engage with the digital environment.

In addition to the Acer headset mentioned above, Microsoft will be launching more still from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo through Q3 and Q4 of 2017, with the goal of democratizing who can participate in immersive reality; the Acer HMD will start at $299, inside-out tracking will allow for six-degrees-of-freedom without physical sensors in the room, and based on the company’s stated minimum specs for mixed reality, most PCs will be powerful enough to run basic MR.

Would you use wands to engage with Mixed Reality? Let us know!

About the Scout

Jesse Damiani

Jesse Damiani is Editor-at-Large of VRScout and Deputy Director of Emerging Technology at Southern New Hampshire University. He's also Series Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press) and the author of @endless$pectator: The Screens Suite #loliloquy (BlazeVOX, 2017). Other writing can be found on Adweek, Billboard, Forbes, Quartz, and The Verge.

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