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Microsoft Patent Details Whole-Room Projection Game Environment

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  • so.. A holodeck? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by firex726 (1188453) <firex726.yahoo@com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:47PM (#41314315)

    so.. A holodeck?

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      my thoughts exactly.
      daddy want. daddy likey.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Not really. A small step towards a holodeck, maybe but not a holodeck. More like a 360 projection. People have built rooms like this for various purposes (usually scientific projects), although not usually using a single device to project the whole room. Aside from technical difficulties with distortion in doing that (which MS claims to be working around), the shadows of anyone standing in the room prevents that from being a really reliable method, although it might work for a game system where the whole-ro

    • by AshFan (879808)
      Simpsons did it first.
    • Isn't having thought about it supposed to be enough prior art?

    • by es330td (964170)
      When do we get to see Deanna Troi?
    • by pellik (193063)
      Another example of patents and copyrights grabbing at everything from star trek.
      • by firex726 (1188453)

        I wonder if maybe it's just a natural progression of technology.
        We have monitors then projectors so why not a four way projector? And at the time TNG was on we had primitive VR technology.

        • by fatphil (181876)
          A planetarium has more than your field of vision covered, and that's century-old technology.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      not really, just a really, really really cheap and shitty version of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg8Bh5iI2WY [youtube.com] "Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator - Build & Test (Full Video)"

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Fine, as long as Professor Moriarty doesn't develop self-awareness.

      I came to loathe the holodeck stories on the various ST sequels. Some of them were OK, but mostly the holodeck was used as a lame device for generating bogus dramatic tension. And the thing was always malfunctioning and threatening to destroy the ship or station or whatever. The first or second time that happened, you think they'd unplug it, dismantle it, and tell people to find another way to recreate.

      • by compro01 (777531)

        And the thing was always malfunctioning and threatening to destroy the ship or station or whatever.

        And now we finally know why!

        • by fm6 (162816)

          If Microsoft had been the vendor for Star Fleet holodecks, there would have been an obnoxious musical chord playing every time a simulation began.

    • I though this too at first, but it's not really so close to a holodeck. The holodeck had holographic proyections (ie: 3D stuff), this talks about 2D proyections on the walls. So this is closer to "big screens on your sides" than a holodeck.

    • If it throws a BSOD with the safeties off do you die in real life?

  • Graphics cave (Score:4, Informative)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:49PM (#41314349)
    So, a personal game graphics cave circa 1990? That sure is MS innovation for you.
    • by 91degrees (207121)
      Yes, because since a game cave has been created, there's absolutely nothing else that can be done with it. Well, except make the image respond to the player's position, adjust for distortion and countless other things.
      • Re:Graphics cave (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Howitzer86 (964585) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @04:04PM (#41316241)

        CAVEs, or CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment, come with devices called trackers. One tracker is located on a pair of shutter glasses that the user wears. This one tracks the location of your head, which then adjusts the screens for distortion. The other tracker is located in a device called a Wanda, which is much like a Wii-mote but about 100 times more accurate. The trackers use a magnetic field that fills not just the sides of the CAVE screens it self (10x10x10 foot cube), but beyond that.

        Microsoft's innovation appears to be that it does the same thing, but with just one projector, that uses the walls around the room for peripheral vision - a highly useful feature (just ask any hardcore FPS gamer who has changed his FOV setting). It's probably not as accurate or as pretty, and it's likely going to be somewhere below the half a million you need to build a legitimate CAVE.

        Sincerely,

        Former University of Arkansas at Little Rock CAVE lab assistant

        • by mcswell (1102107)

          Doesn't Plato own the patent for projecting images on the walls of CAVEs? Although I think Socrates could claim prior art. Also, their technique didn't require head tracking, the users' heads were strapped in so they couldn't move--they were indeed limited to peripheral vision for seeing anything not in front of them.

          • Heh, I get the reference but you could have used that to comment about how old and non-innovative this tech is. Microsoft has patented... a worse version of existing technology. While I understand that it could be a good consumer product, I do find it a bit odd. I guess it's better they do it than a patent troll though.
    • by fm6 (162816)

      RTFA. This doesn't require a special room, and it's 3D.

  • I don't think this will work in my living room. It's not really just a big empty white box.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I skimmed the patent and saw nothing new. Sigh :(

    I'm a MS in CS student and I know the basics of how to do everything they claim. I just don't have the time or resources to do it all myself (was actually working on a project doing smaller subset of their features - turning off projection where the user is standing. Will I get sued for that now?). I also never even considered patenting it or anything else I produce :/

  • So it is a crappy version of CAVE except with a TV display in it to show better quality images?

  • What like the ones currently being used by the military?
  • by Chemisor (97276) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @01:55PM (#41314461)

    But mom, I can't make my bed until I kill the zombies guarding it! And I can't possibly clean up my room until they stop bleeding on the carpet.

    • by PPH (736903)
      Just project a scene from Better Homes and Gardens on top of all the crap lying around.
  • You know those fake flash games that pretend to be a maze or something and then a gigantic scary face pops out and screams and freaks you out? Hehehehehehehe.
  • Whole room projection has been in scifi forever and a whole bunch of researchers have done it before some with moving floors.

    Where this MS patent is different and where it becomes patentable is "main display" and "secondary display" and merging the two.
    It envisions your TV as your main display, with some sort of secondary projector to do the rest of the room and the secondary projection will merge with what is on the TV.

    Flight simulators have used multiple merged screens for years. But the MS idea of primar

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:08PM (#41314667) Journal

    The furniture better not have rounded corners!

    • Steve, upon getting to the perley gates, immediately sued Moses because of the rectangular rounded corner design of his clay tablets...
  • What was that...1979? Chris Claremont/John Byrne? Colossus throwing Wolverine like a ball? Screw you, Microsoft. Y'ain't got nothing on this one.

  • A rather neat idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:37PM (#41315073) Homepage

    This is a rather neat idea. It is intended to present the effect of a CAVE system, but without a dedicated room. The new ideas here involve using something like a Kinect to profile the room in terms of both geometry and color, then adjust the projected images to compensate. The room wall display comes from a projector atop the main monitor, a projector with optics set up to display a 360 degree image. (Aim a projector at a shiny sphere, and you get half a sphere of projection. Two such rigs facing each other will cover a whole sphere, except for the area behind the projectors. Or you can use fisheye lenses on projectors.)

    All this stuff has to be aligned. When you have a wide-angle Kinect-like device, control all the projectors, and have modern CPU and GPU power, alignment will be a few seconds of flashing patterns as the room model is built. Thereafter, as long as you don't move too far from your initial position in the room, the geometry should be good.

    The wall projections will probably be somewhat low-rez for now, but that will improve as projectors improve. Even with a low-rez environment, you'll have much better situational awareness in games. (In other words, you can see when somebody is about to attack you from behind.) Any game with group melee combat can benefit from this. Impressive.

    • by Githaron (2462596)
      Personally, I would rather have a headset with a high resolution, high frequency, curved screen that wraps past my peripheral vision; a high definition, directional, noise cancelling headphones; and a high quality mic. You get the immersion but it is more practical. It also would allow you to get rid of the TV all together.
  • by rs1n (1867908) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:49PM (#41315231)
    This was already done by UIUC -- they have "caves" in the Beckman Institute that already do this, and I believe they even played Quake II in there.

    Beckman Institute Cave link: http://isl.beckman.illinois.edu/Labs/CAVE/CAVE.html [illinois.edu]

    Quake II in cave: http://www.visbox.com/prajlich/caveQuake/ [visbox.com]
    • by SubGhandi (231617)

      I played in said CAVE. Mod parent up!

    • by bws111 (1216812) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @05:36PM (#41317355)

      Ye another ill-informed, totally incorrect post modded to +5 informative by clueless mods.

      You do NOT PATENT AN IDEA OR CONCEPT, such as "playing a game in a room". You patent HOW YOU DO IT.

      Even a cursory look at the link you provided and the actual patent application shows they are not even similar.

      The link you provided says they use an "Intersense IS-900 ultrasonic/accelerometer-based tracking system". Claim 1 of the patent says they use a camera. Those are not the same.

      The link you provided clearly shows they are using flat, carefully positioned white walls. The patent says that they use the camera "to compensate for the topography of the environmental surface". A different claim states that they "compensate for the color of the environmental surface".

      They also talk about things like "shielding the user from the light by detecting his position". In other words, when the user is facing the projector, block out the image that would displayed on his face so as to not blind him. Clearly they don't have to do this in the cave system since it is using rear-projection.

      When oh when is the slashdot crowd going to learn what patents are, what they protect, and what prior art is and is not? Something in a movie or science-fiction book is NOT prior art. Something that has the same end result but gets there in a different way is NOT prior art.

      • by russotto (537200)

        You do NOT PATENT AN IDEA OR CONCEPT, such as "playing a game in a room". You patent HOW YOU DO IT.

        You haven't seen too many patents if you believe this. Patenting the goal is pretty common.

        Something in a movie or science-fiction book is NOT prior art.

        Tell it to Charles Hall, denied a patent on the waterbed because of a description in, yes, a science fiction book. Of course, nowadays the patent office is more strict, and nothing counts as prior art except another patent covering the same invention, and

  • This is a patent APPLICATION, not a PATENT. The USPTO PAIR website, so far, has no examiner-side documents. As this was filed just 18 months ago, and things at the USTO can take around 30 months for a final decision, there will be plenty of time to examine prior art. I'm not convinced CAVE totally preempts this patent, either. CAVE is a room with perfectly flat walls and no furniture. The MS spec and claims describe the ability for the system to perceive depth and obstructions and distort the projectio
  • Aren't VR glasses better? The room in the article looks larger than my entire flat - not to mention it's full of stuff, not empty walls.

    While this is cool for dedicated locations, and especially shared experiences, I think average home users would be better off with some cool 3D glasses, which seems to be sony's approach.

  • Now the BSOD experience can be immersive!
  • So -- they're suggesting running a game in a CAVE virtual environment? Not exactly new. Multiscreen flight sims [xplane] are examples of one form of prior art (ok -- not quite CAVEs, but I don't know of a game in a CAVE environment. To argue that doing so is somehow non-obvious would be ridiculous. But I guess that's what lawyers are paid to do.
    • by Damouze (766305)

      I have actually seen demos of old games like Quake or Doom in a CAVE.

      The fact that Micro$oft has been granted this pattern shows once again how f***i*g incompetent the US Patent Bureau is.

      • by stevejf (2724307)
        not granted. this is just an application that has been published. the OP has incorrect and misleading text. The examiner hasn't done any prior art examination, according to USPTO PAIR.
  • MS hasn't been granted this patent, hasn't been reviewed by examiner, and is just a published application.

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