Microsoft Patent | Hybrid world/body locked HUD on an HMD

Patent: Hybrid world/body locked HUD on an HMD

Publication Number: 10175483

Publication Date: 2019-01-08

Applicants: Microsoft

Abstract

A system and method are disclosed for displaying virtual objects in a mixed reality environment in a way that is optimal and most comfortable for a user to interact with the virtual objects. When a user is not focused on the virtual object, which may be a heads-up display, or HUD, the HUD may remain body locked to the user. As such, the user may explore and interact with a mixed reality environment presented by the head mounted display device without interference from the HUD. When a user wishes to view and/or interact with the HUD, the user may look at the HUD. At this point, the HUD may change from a body locked virtual object to a world locked virtual object. The user is then able to view and interact with the HUD from different positions and perspectives of the HUD.

Background

Mixed reality is a technology that allows virtual imagery to be mixed with a real world physical environment. A see-through, head mounted display (HMD) device may be worn by a user to view the mixed imagery of real objects and virtual objects displayed in the user’s field of view. A user may further interact with virtual objects, for example by performing hand, head or voice gestures to move the objects, alter their appearance or simply view them.

It may be desirable to display commonly used information in a virtual heads-up display on the HMD, such as for example time, date, wireless signal strength, user-selected icons, etc. If the heads-up display (HUD) is head locked, i.e., it moves at the same rate of the head, the user sees the same side of the displayed virtual objects, and they may appear two-dimensional. Additionally, using space in the field of view to render HUD elements wastes precious area for rendering other virtual content. Conversely, if the HUD is a world locked element, the user has to remember where they left the HUD.

Summary

Embodiments of the present technology relate to a system and method for presenting a hybrid world/body locked virtual HUD on a head mounted display device. In addition to displaying virtual objects such as a HUD, the head mounted display device includes a processing unit and sensors which enable the head mounted display device to determine its position and field of view, as well as the positions of virtual objects, in three-dimensional space. In embodiments, as a user moves around within a three-dimensional space, a HUD may remain body locked to the user. For example, the HUD may remain at a predefined position in front of the user’s head and elevated above horizontal so that the HUD is outside of a user’s field of view and invisible when the user is looking straight ahead or downward. As such, the user may explore and interact with a mixed reality environment presented by the head mounted display device without interference from the HUD. As explained below, the HUD may be placed at other predefined positions in further examples.

When a user wishes to view and/or interact with the HUD, the user may look upward so that the HUD appears within the user’s field of view for a predetermined period of time. At that point, the HUD may change from a body locked virtual object to a world locked virtual object. The user is then able to view and interact with the HUD from different positions and perspectives of the HUD. When the user looks down or away so that the HUD is no longer in the user’s field of view for a predetermined period of time, the HUD may switch back to being body locked.

In an example, the present technology relates to a system for presenting a mixed reality experience to one or more users, the system comprising: a display device including a display unit for displaying a virtual object; and a computing system operatively coupled to the display device, the computing system generating the virtual object for display on the display device, the computing system positioning the virtual object as being body locked with respect to the display device when it is determined the virtual object is not in a field of view of the display device and the computing system positioning the virtual object as being world locked when it is determined the virtual object is in the field of view of the display device.

In a further example, the present technology relates to a system for presenting a mixed reality experience, the system comprising: a display device including a first set of sensors for sensing data relating to a position of the display device and a display unit for displaying a virtual object to the user of the display device; and a computing system operatively coupled to the display device, the computing system including a second set of sensors for sensing data relating to a position of the user, and the computing system generating the virtual object for display on the display device, the computing system maintaining the virtual object in a body locked position outside of the field of view of the display device when a user is not focused on the virtual object and the computing system maintaining the virtual object in world locked position within the field of view of the display device when the user is focused on the virtual object.

In another example, the present technology relates to a method of presenting a mixed reality experience to one or more users, the method comprising: (a) locking a position of a virtual object in a fixed position with respect to a portion of a user’s body when the user is not focused on the virtual object; and (b) locking a position of the virtual object in a fixed position in three-dimensional space when the user is not focused on the virtual object.

This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

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