Microsoft looks to be developing a simulated reality gaming headset that works through the use of projected images, a recently uncovered patent has revealed.

The design for the headset – which is thought to be most likely for use with future Xbox 720 hardware and mobile technology – was uncovered by the PatentBolt website, and was originally filed in 2010.

The computing giant appears to have worked on two principal designs, one being a full helmet with the other taking the form of a sunglasses-like design.

The problem with similar attempts at such technology in the past is the inability of the human eye to focus on images anything closer than a few inches away. Microsoft’s technology seems to involve a projector system that would create a 16:9 image “that will appear to the wearer as if it were 21 inches in diagonal and viewed at arm's length.”

The details in the patent indicate that the images will be partially transparent, to allow users to still see objects in the real world.

Microsoft is not the first company to attempt to create virtual gaming headsets. The New York Times previously reported that Google is working on augmented reality glasses as well, which could be available by the end of the year.