Sony files another patent for the long-rumored head mounted display (PS4*)

R

Rösti

Unconfirmed Member
Sony has filed another, as in reference to this, patent regarding the long-rumored head mounted display (HMD), supposedly for PS4. Originally filed on June 12, 2012 in JP and March 14, 2013 in US, it was published today via the USPTO Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database.

The patent describes an "Obstacle avoidance apparatus and obstacle avoidance method", and it's surprisingly straightforward for a patent.

Source: http://appft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html

Search for Document Number 20130328928.

Abstract

An obstacle detecting unit detects an obstacle for a user wearing a head mounted display from an image of the outside world. A distance calculating unit calculates the distance from a detected obstacle to the user wearing the head mounted display. An obstacle replacing unit replaces the detected obstacle with a virtual object. A virtual object synthesizing unit generates a virtual object at a position within a virtual space displayed on the head mounted display, in which the position is determined according to the distance to the obstacle.
[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] It is common that a user plays a game while wearing a head mounted display connected to a game device on the head, watching the screen displayed on the head mounted display, and operating a controller or the like. With a typical stationary display connected to a game device, since the user's field of vision includes the outside of the display's screen, the user may not be able to concentrate on the screen or the user's feeling of being immersed in the game may be reduced. Wearing a head mounted display, on the other hand, the user only sees images displayed on the head mounted display, so that the user feels more immersed in the world of the images and the entertainment capabilities of the game will be enhanced.

[0005] However, since a user wearing a head mounted display cannot see the outside world, the user may bump into an obstacle around the user or may knock something off a desk when stretching a hand or moving the user's body during game play.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention has been made in view of such a problem, and a purpose thereof is to provide an obstacle avoidance apparatus and an obstacle avoidance method that can avoid the situation where a user wearing a head mounted display bumps into an obstacle.

[0007] To solve the problem above, an obstacle avoidance apparatus of an embodiment of the present invention comprises: an obstacle detecting unit configured to detect an obstacle for a user wearing a head mounted display from an image of the outside world; an obstacle replacing unit configured to replace the detected obstacle with a virtual object; and a virtual object synthesizing unit configured to generate the virtual object within a virtual space displayed on the head mounted display.

[0008] Another embodiment of the present invention relates to an obstacle avoidance method. The method comprises: detecting an obstacle for a user wearing a head mounted display from an image of the outside world; replacing the detected obstacle with a virtual object; and generating the virtual object within a virtual space displayed on the head mounted display.

[0009] Optional combinations of the aforementioned constituting elements, and implementations of the invention in the form of methods, apparatuses, systems, computer programs, data structures, and recording media may also be practiced as additional modes of the present invention.
Misc (things I found very interesting)

[0022] Position information of the user can be measured using a position sensor, such as a global positioning system (GPS), embedded in the head mounted display 100 or placed externally. Also, posture information, such as the orientation or tilt of the user's head wearing the head mounted display 100, can be measured using a posture sensor embedded in the head mounted display 100 or placed externally
[0023] The main body 110 includes a display, a position information acquisition sensor, a posture sensor, and a communication apparatus. The frontal region contact unit 120 and temporal region contact unit 130 include a biological information acquisition sensor that can measure the user's biological information, such as the body temperature, pulse, blood components, perspiration, brain waves, and cerebral blood flow.
[0024] The head mounted display 100 may further comprise a camera for capturing an image of a user's eye. With the camera mounted on the head mounted display 100, the line of sight, pupil movement, and blinking of the user can be detected.
[0058] When the obstacle is a movable object such as a human or an animal, the obstacle replacing unit 630 selects a movable object, such as an avatar or a robot, as a virtual object by which the obstacle is replaced, and the virtual object synthesizing unit 640 generates within the virtual space a movable object that moves according to the movement of the real obstacle.
Imagery

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Embodiments will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings which are meant to be exemplary, not limiting, and wherein like elements are numbered alike in several Figures, in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is an outline view of a head mounted display;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a functional configuration diagram of a head mounted display;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a configuration diagram of an obstacle avoidance system according to the present embodiment;

[0014] FIG. 4 is a diagram for describing an environment around a user wearing a head mounted display;

[0015] FIG. 5 is a functional configuration diagram of an obstacle avoidance apparatus according to the present embodiment;

[0016] FIG. 6 is a flowchart that shows a procedure of obstacle avoidance performed by the obstacle avoidance apparatus shown in FIG. 5;

[0017] FIG. 7 is a diagram for describing an exemplary virtual object displayed on a head mounted display to avoid an obstacle; and

[0018] FIG. 8 is a diagram for describing another exemplary virtual object displayed on a head mounted display to avoid an obstacle.














 

Danlord

Member
Nov 23, 2011
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I was really hoping that Sony had managed to trim down the physical size of the unit much more than their previous HMZ machine, but they haven't, at least according to Figure 1 (Unless that is never indicative of final form then lets be hopeful)
 
May 18, 2012
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That's awesome that Sony's actually going through with this. My PS4 purchase has been completely justified.

I was really hoping that Sony had managed to trim down the physical size of the unit much more than their previous HMZ machine, but they haven't, at least according to Figure 1 (Unless that is never indicative of final form then lets be hopeful)
Once they start using OLED/AMOLED panels, headset would be much slimmer, but at the same time you would have to put a bit of distance between your eyes and the screen.
 

Marc

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Aug 14, 2013
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Image 3 shows this thing will be powered by the cloud. Your move Microsoft.


I hope this comes soon, could be awesome and a game changer.
 

Drencrom

Member
Aug 17, 2011
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I was really hoping that Sony had managed to trim down the physical size of the unit much more than their previous HMZ machine, but they haven't, at least according to Figure 1 (Unless that is never indicative of final form then lets be hopeful)
It's a patent drawing, it's not indicative of the final form for anything. At least yet.
 

Xenex

Member
Jul 2, 2013
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I hope this is actually decent when it launches. Just as important, I hope it's affordable.
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
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This one was registered by SCEJ folk. It would make sense for this to be a collaboration between the Evolution R&D people and the core design and hardware teams at SCEJ.
 

Nerfgun

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Jan 22, 2010
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I still think this headmounted display should be called the Look.

Just so you can have Look and Move ;)

I know, I'm dumb.
 

jaypah

Member
Nov 1, 2006
11,062
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I thought 100a and 100b were sandals with Move functionality. Had to do a double-take.
 

RoboPlato

I'd be in the dick
Oct 29, 2006
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I really hope that Sony's tech and the PS4 hardware are up to snuff for delivering a proper VR experience and that they get significant support from it for third parties. I desperately want VR to go mainstream but any little mistakes with it and it could completely fizzle out.

If they do get it right though, then I'll be so fucking pumped.
 
Jul 2, 2012
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I wish i could be excited about this head stuff but I can't just visually see myself putting something on my head all the time

the experience is singular , I wonder how people could share it without you being in the room...like with youtube/twitch it will just be like anything else.
 

Hexa

Member
May 31, 2013
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Common in terms of patents (at least in USPTO) doesn't mean something necessarily common in the real world, but more like it's a common sense sort of thing in how it occurs and isn't patentable.
 

The Maverick

Member
Aug 15, 2013
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The time is coming.

VR combined with motion controls is what's the next big thing. That's when I'll accept that the future has arrived.
 

Danlord

Member
Nov 23, 2011
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That's awesome that Sony's actually going through with this. My PS4 purchase has been completely justified.



Once they start using OLED/AMOLED panels, headset would be much slimmer, but at the same time you would have to put a bit of distance between your eyes and the screen.
It's a patent drawing, it's not indicative of the final form for anything. At least yet.
Thanks.
Yeah that is encouraging, I would've loved Sony to partner with Oculus for the Rift, simply because of the amount of progress they have made and the popularity with the device itself. Sony could provide the thin OLED screen for the Rift and Sony gets some exclusive (console) use and as there has been talk of PS4 game supporting it like Driveclub, that'd mean (among it would need to be 60fps) is that we could see a higher level of support natively for the device.

Sony working on their own does bring some benefits, I guess their engineering talent could be superior in resources to the team at Oculus but without Carmack as a programmer. They would be able to use a lot of their exclusive titles and huge indie following to help push the device across more titles, and I wonder if we'd finally be able to have OASIS (Ready Player One) :D One can hope.
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
43,347
1
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What new Move design?
There was a patent recently that was basically a move controller but with a touch area under the thumb, looked similar to the Steam Controller touch pads.

Not sure if they'll come to market with that though, or just stick to the current Move design. I do think Move, in whatever guise, will see new use alongside the VR set though.
 

PBY

Banned
Dec 12, 2007
33,405
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I'm in the camp that finds this stuff cool in theory, but I would never use it. I'd feel so silly in my living room wearing this.

My point is basically that as a PS4 owner, I hope they don't go all in with this, and keep supporting their VR-less users.
 

iceatcs

Junior Member
Jul 9, 2007
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This sounds more AR than VR. Not sure if I like that.
Well It seem complete a Rift and a Google Glass in combo. It mean you have both or one feature.
It should be better than "Fortalez" by the leaked picture because you cannot really full VR without a real life background just like Google Glass.


Best things in the world to have more just one thing. Keep happy and hope it real. Rift could join the AR too.
 

meta4

Junior Member
Jul 5, 2012
3,144
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I'm in the camp that finds this stuff cool in theory, but I would never use it. I'd feel so silly in my living room wearing this.

My point is basically that as a PS4 owner, I hope they don't go all in with this, and keep supporting their VR-less users.
Lol