Undoubtedly, some Microsoft users are bummed that Microsoft hasn’t shown any particular interest in the growth of e-books within the platform. For a moment, there was hope that a mutually beneficial partnership with Barnes & Nobles’ Nook division would result in the quick injection of e-books into Microsoft’s Windows Store. Unfortunately, it seems the $300 million (US) settlement was more patent dispute hush money than an e-book investment. While Microsoft currently has little prospect of an e-book community on the horizon, a recent patent may give users some insight into Microsoft’s future for e-books.
A patent Microsoft filed nearly three years ago has been granted to the company for an augment reality reading experience, today. The patent is intended to extend a readers experience by “synchronizing a virtual character’s movement and lips to match the words being read aloud from the text,” reports GeekWire. The patented experience relies on tags placed in books. The idea is that tags will be built into newer books or added to older books as time goes on. The tags are then picked up by the headsets sensors through various inputs that include visual and audio recognition from the reader. In addition, the sensors in the headsets will be able to synchronize the movement of tagged character lips from the reading material, to the words of the text. It would appear to the user that the character is actually based on the words in the text. The new augmented reading experience should also work with various reading materials such as books, magazines, newspapers, journals, and possibly e-books.
GeekWire takes note of the possibilities this new reading experience can have in the education sector. Children just learning to read can now have a new level of engagement with the material being presented. Assuming this reading experience can be fitted alongside the Skype demos done at conferences with HoloLens, parents could conceivably be a visual part of their child’s reading experience. That particular reading experience would be a benefit for parents in the military, working double shifts or living apart from their child. As for e-books, the potential of this experience on HoloLens may finally be the kick in the butt Microsoft needs in order to finally invest in their non-existent reading platform.