The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published two newly granted patents for Microsoft. The first relates to eye tracking technology, and more particularly, to an eye tracking device usable with standard prescription eyeglasses. The second granted patent relates to an update to the Xbox controller.
Device #1: Mobile Camera for Prescription Glasses
Microsoft notes that mobile cameras today are not suitable for people who depend on standard (prescription) eyeglasses. This newly granted patent introduces new technology that includes an eye tracking device that can be used to perform eye tracking for a user wearing standard prescription eyeglasses.
In at least some embodiments the device comprises an illumination source, a time-of-flight (TOF) camera and a processor. The illumination source transmits energy within a frequency band from a location proximate to an eye of a person, such that at least a first portion of the transmitted energy is reflected off a lens of eyewear worn by the person, to subsequently reflect off an eye of the person, and such that at least a second portion of the transmitted energy is transmitted through the lens to reflect off objects in the person's environment.
As shown in Microsoft's patent FIG. 1B above, the eye tracking device #1 can be mounted to the frame of standard eyeglasses #2 such as to either one of the two temple frame pieces proximate to one of the user's eyes.
The device further includes a fastener (e.g., a spring-loaded clip, Velcro, or the like) to detachably connect the device #1 to the eyeglasses frame. The fastener can be a "universal" fastener capable of mounting the device to any standard eyeglasses, or it can be designed specifically for a given model or manufacturer's eyeglasses.
Microsoft further notes that the communication unit of the camera enables the eye tracking device to communicate with an external device or system (not shown), such as a computer or other type of processing device like a smartphone or tablet.
Device #2: Xbox Controller with a Twist or Two
Microsoft was granted a patent today by the U.S. Patent Office for an Xbox controller. It would appear that the design has two tweaks. One is a pop-up direction pad and grips at on the trigger buttons. I didn't find any on the web with these features so it could be something for down the road. Unfortunately design patents don't provide any details whatsoever. So it's what you see is what you get.
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