Patent published on October 3, 2023

New Patent Might Make 'Complete Control System' Mirror Your Movements in Games

Imagine playing a video game where your character mimics your quirks and muscle movements to the minutest detail, offering not just an interactive experience but a mirror image of your actual self. This is the concept behind a recent patent, US11775066B2, launched by a company called COAPT.

The challenge that this patent confronts is the inflexibility of current video games and virtual reality systems. The games we play are bound to give a universal experience - same for every individual. But each person is unique in how they move, communicate, and interact. For instance, someone with a physical deformity might struggle with current gaming controls. Or, consider someone who has suffered an amputation and experiences “phantom limb pain”. Existing technologies do not offer them optimal control or the "kinematic awareness" - the sense of their body's movement in space.

COAPT's recent patent has pioneered a solution using biometric data - physiological or behavioral human characteristics - to improve user experience. The patent’s innovation lies in its ability to detect and adapt to the user’s intentions using special sensor technology. These sensors measure unique muscle signals from the user, creating a personal profile that the game uses to emulate the user's movement. The system can allow individuals with physical conditions to manipulate their characters effortlessly, making virtual environments accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

In a world where this patented technology is commonplace, games become much more personalized. The way you clench your fist, the tilt of your head, your unique way of jumping, all become part of the gaming experience. It's not just about playing a game anymore; it's about immersing oneself into a virtual reality that mirrors the nuances of individual physicality.

For example, a user with bilateral amputations can maneuver their game character in sync with their body movements, without needing a visual reference. Or, a stroke patient with limited control on one side of their face can take part in a virtual meeting, knowing their expressions are accurately manifested on their virtual persona.

The patent details show sketches(Fig. 1A, 1B, 1C) of a virtual reality system that uses wearable sensors to gauge muscle signals from different parts of the user’s body. Crucially, the technology can significantly reduce the phantom pain perceived by amputees, and offer the joy of a reflexive virtual experience that mimics their desired movements(Fig. 3, 4, 5).

Through biometrics, we are stepping into an era where entertainment, fitness, and even therapeutic treatments lead to heightened realism in virtual environments. The possibilities seem infinite - from more immersive role-playing games and realistic virtual sport, to novel ways of supporting physical rehabilitation.

One caveat: While this patent promises a transformative future in the gaming world, it is just that - a patent. There is no certainty about when, or indeed if, this technology will materialize in the market. But when it does, it will turn a new leaf in customizing virtual experiences and reaffirm that the future of gaming - and maybe more - is personal.

Explore more