For many VR enthusiasts, the untimely interruption of their immersive experience due to obstacles in real-world space is a major pet peeve. The patent from Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ) - US20230351675A1 - offers a solution to this issue. This patent aims to enhance the integration of virtual objects into real-world environments like in virtual games or VR glasses.
Current extended reality (XR) technology does not fully facilitate smooth integration of virtual images into the real world. A common issue faced due to this technological limitation is a phenomenon known as 'occlusion'. Occlusion occurs when a virtual object gets covered partly or wholly by real-world objects. The sudden disappearance of virtual objects during a VR experience is a jolting experience, disrupting the smooth operation of XR games, simulations or VR glasses. This not only hampers the user experience but also slows down the adoption of this technology.
Ericsson’s new patent aims to fix these issues. The proposed system can detect occlusions, measure the extent of the occlusion and relay this information to another system responsible for managing the display of virtual objects. This feedback mechanism ensures that virtual objects are displayed only in areas where they can be seen in their entirety, thereby significantly improving the user experience.
In a world, post-adoption of Ericsson's new patented technology, the XR experience will be glitch-free and seamlessly integrated with our real-world environments. Imagine walking around a museum with XR glasses that overlay historical or explanatory information on the exhibits. These glasses, equipped with Ericsson's technology, would ensure that none of the overlaying content is hidden or disrupted by other visitors or objects in the museum.
All said, it is important to note that as this is a recently filed patent, there is no surefire guarantee that this technology will hit the market. The patent application is merely an indication of Ericsson's plans and the direction in which VR technology could possibly head in the future.
P.S. The Figures provided along with the patent details indicate how the invention would function. They illustrate an example extended reality environment with a partially occluded virtual content display opportunity. It shows an XR end-user device's model and a wireless network's block diagram. These patent figures can be beneficial in understanding this invention's technicalities and its inner workings.