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Knock-Knock User Alert System for Virtual and Augmented Reality

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000254029D
Publication Date: 2018-May-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 109K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Knock-Knock User Alert System for Virtual and Augmented Reality

When using virtual reality (VR), users are completely cut off from the outside world. This can be unsafe for both the VR user and spectator, particularly in room-scale virtual reality where the user is walking and moving around the environment. If someone enters the play area, there is the possibility of a dangerous collision. Being cut off from the outside world can also make VR users uncomfortable, which detracts from the experience and interferes with immersion.

Accurate position tracking is critical to comfortable and immersive VR. Different VR systems use different sensors to scan the environment and track headsets and motion controllers. One system uses spinning grids of lasers generated by ‘lighthouse’ base stations. Another uses infrared (IR) sensors to track IR lights on the headset and controllers. ‘Inside-Out’ tracking uses depth sensors mounted on the headset to track position and does not require external sensors. This will likely be the long-term solution to position tracking in VR. In addition, depth sensors work by constantly scanning and mapping 3D environments, which makes it possible to detect changes in the environment.

Despite current technologies, a method or system is needed to improve safety for VR users and facilitate immersion, enhancing the overall experience.

The novel contribution is a system and method for detecting danger and altering VR/AR virtual environments and objects. The system uses sensor data to sense significant changes in the environment (e.g., a door is opened, someone enters the play area, a loud sound occurs, etc.), and then it alerts the VR user via in-game notifications.

The system comprises a suite of sensors for monitoring a space containing an AR/VR user. A software model describes a steady-state of the environment based on frequently sampled sensor data. Control software detects rapid changes (greater than scanning margin of error) in the user environment and initiates a system response. The VR software development kit sends a notification to the currently running app, which disp...