Oculus Patent | Apparatus, system, and method for adjusting head-mounted display straps with telescoping assemblies

Patent: Apparatus, system, and method for adjusting head-mounted display straps with telescoping assemblies

Publication Number: 10203506

Publication Date: 2019-02-12

Applicants: Oculus

Abstract

A head-mounted-display adjustment apparatus may include a telescoping assembly. The telescoping assembly may include (1) a track, (2) a boss element that bears upon the track and that is loosely coupled to the track such that the boss element is liftable from the track by a limited distance, and (3) a slide that moves along the track, the slide including a catch that restrains the slide from moving along the track when the boss element bears upon the track. The adjustment apparatus may also include a strap with a distal section coupled to the head-mounted display and a proximal section coupled to the slide such that the strap is extendable, via movement of the slide, away from the head-mounted display.

Background

Putting on a virtual reality headset may be the beginning of a thrilling experience, one that may be more immersive than almost any other digital entertainment or simulation experience available today. Virtual reality headsets may enable users to travel through space and time, interact with friends in a three-dimensional world, or play video games in a radically redefined way. Virtual reality headsets may also be used for purposes other than recreation–governments may use them for military training simulations, doctors may use them to practice surgery, and engineers may use them as visualization aids.

In any use of a virtual reality headset, making the experience as immersive as possible may be critical. Regrettably, a variety of factors may disrupt virtual-reality immersion, and one of the most significant disruptions to having an immersive experience may be an ill-fitting headset. Since many headsets may be relatively heavy with most of their weight distributed toward the front, a poor fit may result in significant pressure on a user’s face, leading to discomfort that may make a virtual reality experience less compelling.

Traditional virtual reality headsets may provide some limited options for addressing a poor fit, but these options may be sub-optimal. For example, adjusting a traditional headset for comfortable facial pressure and proper size may involve making numerous manual changes over several fitting attempts. This process may be surprisingly time-consuming, and for some users, finding a good fit may be quite difficult. The problem of achieving a good fit may be exacerbated for headsets that are used by multiple people, which may necessitate a refitting before each use. And finding a good fit isn’t the only problem with using virtual reality headsets–the configuration of some traditional headset straps may result in awkward, uncomfortable, or comical attempts at putting on or removing headsets.

Summary

As will be described in greater detail below, the instant disclosure generally relates to head-mounted-display-strap apparatuses, systems, and methods. In some examples, a head-mounted-display adjustment apparatus may include a telescoping assembly that includes (1) a track, (2) a boss element that bears upon the track and that is loosely coupled to the track such that the boss element is liftable from the track by a limited distance, and (3) a slide that moves along the track, the slide including a catch that restrains the slide from moving along the track when the boss element bears upon the track. The apparatus may also include a mount that couples the telescoping assembly to a head-mounted display. In addition to the mount, the apparatus may include a strap with a distal section coupled to the head-mounted display and a proximal section coupled to the slide, such that the strap is extendable, via movement of the slide, away from the head-mounted display.

In some examples, the track may include (1) a planar base element and (2) spaced ridges protruding from the planar base element, the spaced ridges defining troughs.

In some embodiments, the boss element may bear upon the track via the slide. In these embodiments, the boss element may inhibit the catch from exiting a trough when the boss element bears upon the track. Additionally or alternatively, the boss element may include a pair of lateral surfaces that define multiple notch pairs. In this example, the slide may include a pair of tabs adapted to catch in each of the notch pairs. The notch pairs in the boss element may align with the plurality of troughs in the track, such that when the pair of tabs fit in a notch pair the catch rests in a corresponding trough.

The slide element may include any suitable elements. For example, the slide element may include a shuttle element that includes the catch and an encasement housing the shuttle element. In some examples, the shuttle element may include a planar shaft element and a pair of arms extending from the planar shaft element. In these examples, the catch may bridge the pair of arms.

The track may be arranged in any suitable manner. For example, the track may include a planar base element, a pair of posts extending from the planar base element, and a bridge element connecting the pair of posts. In this example, the spaced ridges may protrude from the planar base element under the bridge element. The planar shaft element of the shuttle element may, with the pair of arms and the catch, define a hole in the shuttle element between the pair of arms. In some examples, the track and the shuttle element may be interlinked due to one of the pair of posts extending through the hole in the shuttle element such that the catch is situated under the bridge element and between the pair of posts. The boss element may include a band adapted to sit around the pair of posts and to engage with the bridge element when lifted from the track.

In some examples, the pair of arms of the shuttle element may be flexible to allow the boss element to lift the catch above the plurality of spaced ridges without lifting the entire planar shaft element. The proximal section of the strap may be coupled to the slide in any suitable manner. In some examples, the proximal section of the strap may be coupled to the encasement.

According to various embodiments, a corresponding head-mounted-display system may include a telescoping assembly that includes (1) a track, (2) a boss element that bears upon the track and that is loosely coupled to the track such that the boss element is liftable from the track by a limited distance, and (3) a slide that moves along the track, the slide including a catch that restrains the slide from moving along the track when the boss element bears upon the track. The system may also include a head-mounted display and a mount that couples the telescoping assembly to a head-mounted display. In addition to the mount, the system may include a strap with a distal section coupled to the head-mounted display and a proximal section coupled to the slide, such that the strap is extendable, via movement of the slide, away from the head-mounted display.

The system may include more than one strap-adjustment apparatus, as shown in various embodiments herein. For example, the distal section of the strap may be coupled to the head-mounted display via an additional mount that couples an additional telescoping assembly to the head-mounted display. For example, the mount that couples the spring to the head-mounted display may be connected to a first section of the head-mounted display and may be dimensioned to be positioned at a left side of a user’s head. Similarly, the additional mount that couples the additional spring to the head-mounted display may be connected to a second section of the head-mounted display that is dimensioned to be positioned at a right side of the user’s head. In some examples, the strap may also include a medial section coupled to a third section of the head-mounted display, and the medial section may be dimensioned to be positioned at a user’s forehead.

In addition to the various systems and devices described herein, the instant disclosure presents, by way of example, methods associated with head-mounted-display strap systems. For example, a method may include securing, to a head-mounted display, a telescoping assembly including (1) a track, (2) a boss element that bears upon the track and that is loosely coupled to the track such that the boss element is liftable from the track by a limited distance, and (3) a slide that moves along the track, the slide including a catch that restrains the slide from moving along the track when the boss element bears upon the track. The method may also include coupling a distal section of a strap to the head-mounted display and coupling a proximal section of the strap to the telescoping assembly, such that the strap is extendable, via movement of the telescoping assembly, away from the head-mounted display.

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