So long using keyboards has become has become a necessity for everyone nowadays. The software giant envisions a holographic keyboard to accompany its AR/VR environment. In the quest, the future of typing may not include a keyboard. Microsoft’s newly granted patent for ” Holographic Keyboard Display”, describes what future of text input looks like. Using a virtual keyboard plane to sense a user’s input, the AR/VR system will function like a normal keyboard and read user’s gesture to simulate typing.

The giant mentions gaming as s first application, but Microsoft’s keen interest in IT  makes the workplace another obvious application combined with its headset AR/VR technology, future knowledge workers may not need desks or even centralized workspace. Instead, smart glasses could virtualize the desktop PC as we know it allows workers to type form any position and from any part of the world using hand gestures.

A replacement for keyboard

The patent describes a “Head-Mounted Display” that would contribute to the tracking system. But the patent describes a virtual keyboard as being applicable for both virtual and mixed reality headset application. The image below shows a Microsoft’s planned AR/VR environment, which includes a Kinect-like sensor bar, above a television, a virtualized keyboard, as well as wizards floating in augmented reality. A Holographic hand represents the user’s hand on the virtual keyboard so that the user can type from a variety of positions.

The given image stipulates that AR/VR keyboard interface will remain in view regardless of head orientation. While the patent appears to explicitly target gameplay, referencing  ” a user ….playing an interactive game that includes a holographic wizard”, the virtual keyboard can, in turn, displace the traditional workplace setup, where Microsoft already has the considerable presence via office suite. Microsoft has already shown an interest in expanding the use of cases for AR with its patent for glasses that can track when what to eat.


Microsoft’s flag is firmly placed in AR with its Hololens technology. It is not difficult to imagine future generations of Hololens shipping with an AR-ready processor, much like word did on PC.