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Microsoft files mysterious trademark for Direct Reality ahead of E3

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A few days before the influential Electronic Entertainment Expo video game tradeshow in Los Angeles, Microsoft may have tipped its hand on future virtual and augmented reality plans.

Microsoft has filed a trademark for Direct Reality, according to OnMsft (an independent news site that reports on the tech giant). The filing makes note of video game software, online games, and holographic applications. The name Direct Reality sounds like a mashup of DirectX, the Microsoft API (application programming interface), and virtual/augmented reality. Direct Reality could be a new API designed for creating AR/VR programs. Tech adviser Digi-Capital projects that the VR/AR market will reach $108 billion by 2021.

We reached out to Microsoft for comment on what Direct Reality is and will update this story if it responds.

Microsoft is behind HoloLens, an augmented reality headset that projects digital images onto the real world. While a developer’s version of the technology released last year, it is not available to consumers.

The tech company has been more quiet about virtual reality on Xbox One. While its competitor Sony has PlayStation VR for its PlayStation 4, the Xbox One does not support virtual reality. We could learn more about Microsoft’s VR and AR plans at its E3 event on June 11. It’ll show off Project Scorpio, an updated version of the Xbox One, which could support virtual reality, although Microsoft has not detailed those plans.

DirectX has always been an important part of Microsoft’s gaming history ever since it launched in 1995. The Xbox brand even got its name from DirectX (the “DirectX box”). The latest version, Direct X 12, came out in 2015.

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