For any VR head display, the protection system that can alert users when they are close to the boundary of the play area is very important, and major head display manufacturers have been exploring and optimizing in this area, such as Microsoft, which has applied for many related patents.
Recently, the U.S. patent and Trademark Office announced a Microsoft patent application on this topic, which is called “transitioning into a VR environment and warning HMD users of real world physical obstacles”
In traditional VR system, due to the limitation of sensor field of view and actual physical space, users need to demarcate a safe play area first. For virtual reality, users sometimes do not want to stand or sit in a fixed position, but choose to walk freely and experience continuous virtual environment when they move. However, users may walk out of the safe area and bump into real objects, resulting in physical injury or damage. At this time, the appropriate protection system is very necessary.
For the patent application named “transitioning into a VR environment and warning HMD users of real world physical obstacles”, the method mainly described in the patent application can be used to provide users with warnings of invisible real world physical obstacles of VR devices.
In one embodiment, the system detects the use of the head display and identifies one or more real-world physical objects close to the head display distance threshold. Then, the replication environment including virtual representation of real world physical objects is acquired and presented in VR display. Then, the copied environment fades out from the display and presents the original VR environment in the VR display.
In short, when the VR head display user approaches a sofa, the system will include the digital representation of the sofa in the VR view, and inform the user in this way. When the user is far away from the sofa, the digital representation of the sofa will fade away from the display and restore the original VR view.
Microsoft points out that such an embodiment can allow a natural smooth transition between the real world and the virtual environment, thus preventing users from getting lost.