Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Wants to Beam You Up to the Holodeck

It’s hard to find any company that’s putting more weight behind augmented reality than Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). With nearly $10 billion in trailing-12-month research and development expenses, Microsoft could easily expand its research in this area even further — but how much further could it go? Beyond IllumiRoom and OmniTouch, Microsoft’s also developed several other Kinect- and projection- based augmented-reality technologies, some of which may now be part of IllumiRoom. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) filed for a patent on this technology in early 2011, which should only widen the gap between it and its potential competitors. When the patent became public knowledge, most commenters called it the “holodeck patent,” and it’s probably going to continue to be called “holodeck tech” going forward. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new small business model spring up in the future around custom-built game rooms for the IllumiRoom experience. Why settle for your boring old living room when you can have a real holodeck?

What is real?
Microsoft’s effort is the inverse of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)‘s with Project Glass — one aims to expand your visual experience to fill the entire room, the other aims to contain your entire room within your visual experience. Both of them move the world inexorably toward the same end, which is the construction of an artificial reality over our real one. Today, their best research has produced devices that enhance an experience, whether through visual overlays in your face or graphical overlays on your walls. What will tomorrow’s augmented reality technology look like? How far will we go before the virtual becomes better than the real?

What other high-tech tricks does Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have up its sleeve? Is immersive hardware really the next step for this dominant operating system company? You’re bound to have many questions about Microsoft’s future, and our best tech analysts are here to help. We’ve put together an exclusive premium research report highlighting key opportunities and major threats for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and what the company has to do to again become the great investment it once was during the dotcom era. Want to learn more? Click here to subscribe today.

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Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more news and insights.The Motley Fool recommends Google, Imax, and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Imax, Microsoft, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool is short Sony. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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