Sony Patent | Interactive Input Controls in a Simulated Three-Dimensional (3d) Environment

Patent: Interactive Input Controls in a Simulated Three-Dimensional (3d) Environment

Publication Number: 20190011999

Publication Date: 2019-01-10

Applicants: Sony

Abstract

A virtual reality (VR) system supports improved interactive control processes/services. These interactive control processes/services include detecting movement of a controller associated with a virtual reality (VR) environment, determining an angle of rotation based on the movement, determining a magnitude of force associated with the movement, determining a path in the VR environment that corresponds to the angle of rotation and the magnitude of force, and projecting the path in the VR environment.

Background

Advances in technology, driven, for example, by improved processing power and speed, ever more efficient software rendering techniques, consumer convenience, and the like, have supported a growing movement in developing and designing simulated or three-dimensional (3D) virtual reality (VR) environments. VR systems which support such VR environments generally include hardware such as headsets, googles, handheld or wearable devices, and the like. Operatively, such hardware continuously tracks user movements, updates user positions, orientations, and the like, and receives interactive input from users in a VR environment.

While certain VR systems can include complex and often expensive hardware and other equipment, such as an omni-directional treadmill, for tracking and translating real-world user movement into the VR environment, an average user may not have requisite capital (or physical space) to support such complex and often expensive equipment. Accordingly, certain challenges arise when designing and creating intuitive and interactive controls for users in a VR environment. Therefore, there is a need for improved interactive processes and techniques operable by simple VR equipment.

Summary

In one exemplary embodiment, this disclosure provides an interactive control process/service. The interactive control process/service may be performed as a method of steps that include detecting movement of a controller associated with a virtual reality (VR) environment. The method further includes steps to determine an angle of rotation, a magnitude of force (e.g., acceleration), and the like, based on the movement. For example, the movement may be mapped or represented by vectors, each having a direction and a magnitude. The method further includes steps for determining a path in the VR environment that corresponds to the vectors (e.g., the angle(s) of rotation, magnitudes of force, etc.) as well as for projecting the path in the VR environment, by displaying, for example, graphical elements that represent the path in the VR environment. In some aspects the method may further include intersection or collision processes that determine when an object in the VR environment intersects (or is in close proximity to) a portion of the path. In such aspects, the method may further include steps to modify or adjust the path so as to select such object, display menu options, retrieve the object along the path, move the user toward the object along the path, and the like.

In another embodiment, a virtual reality (VR) system employs the above discussed interactive control process/service. For example, the VR system includes a network interface to communicate in a communication network, a processor coupled to the network interface and adapted to execute one or more processes, and a memory configured to store a process executable by the processor. The process, when executed by the processor, is operable to detect movement of a controller associated with a virtual reality (VR) environment and determine angles of rotation, magnitudes of force (e.g., acceleration), and the like, based on the movement. The VR system further determines a path in the VR environment that corresponds to the movement and projects the path in the VR environment (e.g., displays graphical objects/elements that represent the path, etc.).

In yet another embodiment, a tangible, non-transitory, computer-readable media includes software or instructions such as an exemplary interactive control process. The software/instructions are executed by a processor, which causes the processor to detect movement of a controller associated with a virtual reality (VR) environment and determine angles of rotation, magnitudes of force (e.g., acceleration), and the like, based on the movement. The processor also determines a path in the VR environment that corresponds to the movement and projects the path in the VR environment (e.g., displays graphical objects/elements that represent the path, etc.).

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