Valve researching wearable computers

By Andrew Yoon, Apr 16, 2012 4:00pm PDT

Valve may be best known for creating and distributing video games, but it's clear that the company's ambitions are much, much bigger. With an open environment that encourages all employees to contribute in any way they see fit, the company has spent quite a great deal of time (Valve Time, if you will) on a number of experiments.

Perhaps one of the more visionary projects in the works at Valve involves "wearable computers." As explained by Valve's Michael Abrash, wearable computers would be mobile computing where "both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view"--aka augmented reality, aka "Terminator vision."

Google recently made waves with its vision for Project Glass, internet-enabled eyewear that could enable new means of communication:

While it may seem ripped out of the pages of Star Trek, this kind of technology could be standard 20 years from now, "but quite likely as little as 3-5," according to a blog post from Abrash. He argues that the development of this technology could be an "inflection point," after which "everything has changed."

Abrash notes that he and his company are doing research into wearable computing, because it's "an experiment worth running." But Abrash emphasized that the research is in its infancy, and won't involve a product "for a long while." Still, the experiment will obviously require engineers--perhaps this explains the job listings regarding Valve hardware?

People are clearly excited by the promises of wearable computing, if the response to Google's Glasses project is any indication. But how will gaming change as it forays into this new territory? Perhaps this fan-produced video will give us a glimpse into the possibilities. Certainly, this would be a whole new gaming experience:

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