Microsoft patents an augmented reality wand that serves as a controller

While Microsoft's HoloLens headset is still a ways off from the consumer market, if ever, the computing giant looks like it's keeping busy developing new ways to interact with augmented reality (AR).

On August 22, Microsoft published a new patent describing a design for "an augmented reality input device" that looks like a cross between a motion controller and a pen, as spotted by Twitter user @h0x0d.

The patent, originally filed in June 2016, features an ambidextrous, baton-like wand controller complete with buttons, trigger, finger guard and what we're assuming are two USB inputs in the back for charging or additional accessories.

Image Credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Image Credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office (Image credit: United States Patent Office)

The wand seems to take inspiration from Google Glass' Google Draw peripheral, so much so that Microsoft even references an article from Damn Geeky in the patent detailing the drawing implement for Google's smart specs.

It's unclear if Microsoft's patented design are intended for the HoloLens headset, a next-gen successor or any other AR initiative. Of course, being a patent, this is expected; more often than not, patents are proofs-of-concept rather than precursors to a major hardware announcement.

However, as AR gains a foothold, with publisher Ubisoft even developing game prototypes for HoloLens, Microsoft could be looking ahead to the time when consumers will need a reliable controller to make the most out of the blossoming technology.

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Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.