The size and scope of rumors about the internal workings of Valve have been increasing as of late: From super-secret console development plans to private meetings between Gabe Newell and Apple CEO Tim Cook, the idea that Valve is looking to expand into new market and solidify its place in the tech infrastructure pantheon is clearly on gamers' minds.
Valve's new employee blog clearly isn't going help. A massive post from Valve R&D guru Michael Abrash, describes one of the company's newest hardware projects.
Abrash says he's working on a "wearable computer" for Valve, similar to Google's glasses. Abrash feels that we'll be using computers as a digital filter for the real world instead of looking at phones or tablets for reference, and Valve is looking to get in on the action:
"By "wearable computing" I mean mobile computing where both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view; there is no separate display that you hold in your hands (think Terminator vision). The underlying trend as we've gone from desktops through laptops and notebooks to tablets is one of having computing available in more places, more of the time. The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time – that is, wearable computing – and I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts, but for all I know through some kind of more direct neural connection. And I'm pretty confident that platform shift will happen a lot sooner than 20 years – almost certainly within 10, but quite likely as little as 3-5, because the key areas – input, processing/power/size, and output – that need to evolve to enable wearable computing are shaping up nicely, although there's a lot still to be figured out."
Abrash makes it very clear that this project is in a very early stage. For all he knows, the project may never make it out of the planning stage. There won't be Valve specs at E3 2012, and you shouldn't expect to see Steam-powered contacts anytime soon. If they come to market, it'll be a long time from now.
What else could Valve be making? It seems like the sky's the limit.