Sometimes when you can’t make the trip to Risa, you might feel the need to recreate the pleasure planet in a fully-immersive alternate reality. Who wouldn’t? Ars Technica reports that Microsoft filed a patent last year for a “Holodeck-style, full room immersive display.” Score one for the Star Trek nerds.
The patent, of course, goes hand-in-hand with the Xbox 360′s Kinect add-on, which allows for virtual reality-like game play where users can interact with elements on the TV by moving around in their own physical environment. Microsoft’s patent would allow users to do this, but in a literal 360-degree field, meaning that even the walls, floor and ceiling would become part of the game.
A heated bidding war taking place at the World Trade Center has finally wrapped up. At stake was the largest collection of technology patents ever assembled into a single sale portfolio, the treasure trove of the now bankrupt Nortel.
Google emerged as the early front runner with a $900 million bid and was expected to compete with Apple over a price that could reach as high as $1.5 billion. In the end a coalition of Microsoft, Apple, RIM, and Sony beat out Google with a massive $4.5 billion bid.
The sad reality of the situation is that the massive interest in the patents is not about innovation. When Google filed its stalking horse bid back in April, Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, said the search giants interest was primarily defensive, “to create a disincentive for others to sue Google. The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low quality software patents.”