Making the world of Virtual Reality (VR) more realistic and immersive is an uphill task for many tech companies in the world today. Meta Platforms Technologies, one of the leading companies in the VR industry, has been granted patent number US11719933B2, which could solve a lot of these issues. Simplified to the core, this patent is about a computer closely watching and mimicking your hand movements in a VR game, making the experience much more realistic and lifelike.
One of their main products on which this patent could be applied is the Oculus Quest VR Headset. Roughly speaking, this patent could bring seamless motion tracking to your VR games and make them look as real as possible.
To gain some perspective, imagine playing a VR game in which you're supposed to hold a virtual cup. With the advancement detailed in this patent, the virtual cup would follow your hand movements in real-time, adapting instantaneously as you change your grip or the direction in which you're looking. However, this seamless and smooth animation of your hands in a VR environment is challenging to achieve due to input and display lag. Essentially, the delay between your real-world physical movements and the corresponding changes rendered in the VR world could disrupt the overall experience.
The patent aims to tackle this problem head-on. Under this new development, a complex network of systems works together to track your hands, capture their movements, and then adjust the display in the VR game accordingly. However, the process is complicated and consumes a lot of power. Transferring this data (even wirelessly) from the 'computing brain' to your VR headset could introduce latency, meaning that there could be a slight delay between your actual movements and what you see in the VR space. And just like in real life, even minor differences could lead to considerable disruptions in VR.
The biggest advantage lies in the way this system has been designed for third-party developers. We might witness a ring following the exact movements of your finger or even animated effects firing up from your fingertips. This development simplifies the challenge of anchoring virtual objects to moving physical objects like your hands.
However, it's important to remember that this is a patent. And, like all patents, we can’t be certain if this new technology will be incorporated into actual products available on the market. Even though the patent's implications are exciting, whether Meta Platforms Technologies will use it in the Oculus Quest VR Headset or any other product is still up in the air.