Microsoft has been given a patent on "augmented reality" (AR) glasses that would enhance sports and other live events with streams of information beamed directly in front of the user.
For example, while you attend a baseball game, Microsoft says it would be able to offer instant replays directed through its AR glasses, as well as annotating what you see on the field, perhaps by providing the stats on a pitcher on the mound or a batter at the plate.
The new technology also opens up interesting possibilities for abuse. Politicians, for example, would no longer need to stand motionless before a podium to read their lines through a teleprompter. Instead they would be able energize the audience by strutting their stuff on stage like rock stars, perhaps driving their points home with well timed body pivots, hip swivels, and arm flails.
While Microsoft’s product is intended to provide supplemental information about a live event, Google Glass is meant to be used all the time as users go about their daily lives.
Since filing its patent, however, Microsoft has expanded its definition of "live event" to anything you happen to be doing - it doesn't have to involve sports or other type of performance at a specific venue.
While this kind of eye wear still has a way to go before reaching its full potential, it is clear that Microsoft and Google intend to compete head-to-head for what’s shaping up as an exciting new generation of computing devices.