Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR set the Internet ablaze last week, but months before this surprising news, Microsoft reportedly purchased the rights to its own head-mounted device. According to TechCrunch, Microsoft paid between $100-150 million for intellectual property assets of the Osterhout Design Group (ODG), a firm that has spent years developing augmented reality devices for the military and other organizations. Although Microsoft has not issued a statement of its own, ODG founder Ralph Osterhout spoke with TechCrunch, confirming the deal.
ODG will continue to operate independently of Microsoft, which raises a few questions regarding the agreement. TechCrunch notes that ODG is in possession of over 81 patents relating to wearable tech, a veritable war chest for Microsoft if the company would rather protect itself from copyright infringement than develop its own technology.
On the other hand, this might be the next step to Microsoft’s rendition of Google Glass. WMPoweruser has uncovered a video from 2011 showcasing ODG’s eerily familiar augmented glasses, complete with an interactive hud. Check out what could be our first look at Microsoft’s wearable future below.