Valve is working on augmenting reality with wearable computing.
In a blog post perhaps in response to the Steam Box rumours, Valve's Michael Abrash said the project was just at the research and development stage for now, but expected it to grow, and called on technical wizards to get in touch about working with him on the project.
Wearable computing according to Valve overlays computer graphics onto the real world in your view. "Think Terminator vision", Abrash said.
"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."
Could Valve, then, be working on a product similar to Google's recently teased Project Glass? Abrash was quick to point out that at this stage this is simply R&D and "it doesn't in any way involve a product at this point, and won't for a long while, if ever - so please, no rumours about Steam glasses being announced at E3".
He added: "The process is very fast-moving and iterative, and we're just at the start. How far and where the investigation goes depends on what we learn."
Valve's wearable computing R&D does not discount the possibility of the Half-Life maker entering into the video game hardware space with a Steam Box or similar product, but it could explain the job advertisements that popped up on its website recently.
Valve is after an electronics engineer to help it develop hardware to "enhance" the gameplay experiences it's known for. "We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here - help us invent whole new gaming experiences," reads the spec.