Sony files patent application for a Posture Control System (PS VR dome/seat)

Rösti

Member
Oct 25, 2017
577
Disclaimer: As always, a patent application is not an indication or confirmation of a product or service being developed.



On October 4, 2018, Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. filed in the United States via the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) a patent application, appl. no. 16/151631, for a "Posture Control System". The application was published on May 2, 2019, and claims foreign priority of Japanese application 2017-210140 originally filed on Oct 31, 2017. Inventor is Yoshikazu Onuki, a principal researcher at Sony Interactive Entertainment and researcher at Tokyo Insitute of Technology.
In summary, this invention is related to the likes of augmented reality and virtual reality and deals with fastening the user to a seat and rotating the seat, this in connection to the user using a a head-mounted display (PlayStation VR). It is a relatively light patent application in terms of text so I will go through most of it below although the gist of it ought to be fairly easy to understood from looking at the images.

Abstract
Disclosed herein is a posture control system containing a posture control unit that changes a direction of a user's body and a display unit mounted on a user's head. The posture control system includes: a posture data acquiring unit configured to acquire posture data indicating the direction of the user's body; a motion sensor data acquiring unit configured to acquire motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor; a camera image data acquiring unit configured to acquire camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image; and a face direction specifying unit configured to specify the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.
Claims

1. A posture control system containing a posture control unit that changes a direction of a user's body and a display unit to be mounted on a user's head, the posture control system comprising: a posture data acquiring unit configured to acquire posture data indicating the direction of the user's body which varies by the posture control unit; a motion sensor data acquiring unit configured to acquire motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in the display unit; a camera image data acquiring unit configured to acquire camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes; and a face direction specifying unit configured to specify the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.

2. The posture control system according to claim 1, wherein the camera is mounted on a position of the posture control unit at which the user's head can be photographed.

3. The posture control system according to claim 1, wherein the face direction specifying unit calculates the direction of the user's face in the real space based on the posture data and the camera image data and specifies based on results of the calculation and the motion sensor data, the direction of the user's face in the real space.

4. The posture control system according to claim 1, wherein the face direction specifying unit calculates the direction of the user's face with reference to the direction of the user's body based on the posture data and the motion sensor data and specifies the direction of the user's face with reference to the direction of the user's body based on results of the calculation and the camera image data.

5. The posture control system according to claim 1, further comprising: a display controlling unit configured to draw an image in a space which depicts states seen inside a virtual space in a direction corresponding to the direction of the user's face which has been specified by the face direction specifying unit, and allow the display unit to display the drawn image.

6. An information processing apparatus to be connected to a posture control unit that changes a direction of a user's body and to a display unit mounted on a user's head, the information processing apparatus comprising: a posture data acquiring unit configured to acquire posture data indicating the direction of the user's body which varies by the posture control unit; a motion sensor data acquiring unit configured to acquire motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in the display unit; a camera image data acquiring unit configured to acquire camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes; and a face direction specifying unit configured to specify the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.

7. An information processing method comprising: acquiring posture data indicating a direction of a user's body which varies by a posture control unit that changes the direction of the user's body; acquiring motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in a display unit to be mounted on a user's head; acquiring camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes; and specifying the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.

8. A program for a computer connected to a posture control unit to change a direction of a user's body and a display unit mounted on a user's head, the program comprising: by a posture data acquiring unit, acquiring posture data indicating the direction of the user's body which varies by the posture control unit; by a motion sensor data acquiring unit, acquiring motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in the display unit; by a camera image data acquiring unit, acquiring camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes; and by a face direction specifying unit, specifying the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.
BACKGROUND

[0001] The present disclosure relates to a posture control system to control a user's posture, an information processing system as a constituent of the posture control system, an information processing method, and a program.

[0002] There has recently emerged a research in new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. They include one which displays scenes in a virtual space so that the user wearing a display unit of head-mounted type feels as if he/she were actually in a virtual space. It sometimes needs to change the user's body direction (simply referred to as posture hereinafter) so as to make the user feel more strongly as if he were in a virtual space or so as to reduce the user's sense of discomfort due to discrepancy between the real space and the virtual space. Specifically, there exists an apparatus to control user's posture by fastening the user to a seat and rotating the seat. This posture control apparatus permits the user to experience the change of his posture such as the direction of his face actually changes in the virtual space.

SUMMARY

[0003] According to the existing technique mentioned above, the posture control apparatus changes the user's posture so that the video displayed on the display unit changes as the user's posture changes. However, the user fixed in the seat of the posture control apparatus is able to move his head to change the direction of his face. It is desirable in this case that the image displayed on the display unit changes as the direction of the user's face changes. Therefore, it is necessary for the posture control apparatus to accurately specify the direction of the user's face while it is performing posture control.

[0004] The present disclosure has been completed in view of the foregoing. It is desirable to provide a posture control system, an information processing method, and a program, the posture control system being able to accurately specify the direction of the user's face while it is performing posture control.

[0005] A posture control system according to an embodiment of the present disclosure is one containing a posture control unit that changes a direction of a user's body and a display unit to be mounted on a user's head. The posture control system includes a posture data acquiring unit, a motion sensor data acquiring unit, a camera image data acquiring unit, and a face direction specifying unit. The posture data acquiring unit acquires posture data indicating the direction of the user's body which varies by the posture control unit. The motion sensor data acquiring unit acquires motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in the display unit. The camera image data acquiring unit acquires camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes. The face direction specifying unit specifies the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.

[0006] An information processing apparatus according to another embodiment of the present disclosure is one to be connected to a posture control unit that changes a direction of a user's body and to a display unit mounted on a user's head. The information processing apparatus includes a posture data acquiring unit, a motion sensor data acquiring unit, a camera image data acquiring unit, and a face direction specifying unit. The posture data acquiring unit acquires posture data indicating the direction of the user's body which varies by the posture control unit. The motion sensor data acquiring unit acquires motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in the display unit. The camera image data acquiring unit acquires camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes. The face direction specifying unit specifies the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.

[0007] An information processing method according to another embodiment of the present disclosure includes acquiring posture data indicating a direction of a user's body which varies by a posture control unit that changes the direction of the user's body, acquiring motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in a display unit to be mounted on a user's head, acquiring camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes, and specifying the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.

[0008] A program according to another embodiment of the present disclosure is one for a computer connected to a posture control unit to change a direction of a user's body and a display unit mounted on a user's head. The program includes by a posture data acquiring unit, acquiring posture data indicating the direction of the user's body which varies by the posture control unit, by a motion sensor data acquiring unit, acquiring motion sensor data indicating a direction of a user's face in a real space which is detected by a motion sensor built in the display unit, by a camera image data acquiring unit, acquiring camera image data indicating the face direction with reference to the direction of the user's body which is specified based on a camera image taken by a camera which changes in shooting direction as the direction of the user's body changes, and by a face direction specifying unit, specifying the direction of the user's face based on the posture data, the motion sensor data, and the camera image data.
Drawings

10: Posture control unit
11: Seat
12: Supporter
13: Drive unit
20: Display unit:
30: Camera
40: Information processing apparatus


[0009] FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram depicting a posture control system pertaining to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a diagram depicting a constitution of the posture control system pertaining to the embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a block diagram depicting a function of an information processing apparatus pertaining to the embodiment of the present disclosure; and

[0012] FIG. 4 is a flow diagram depicting a flow executed by the information processing apparatus pertaining to the embodiment of the present disclosure.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Excerpts

[0016] The user sits on the seat 11 so that his body is fastened. The seat 11 is supported by the supporter 12, and the supporter 12 is turned in more than one direction by the driving force transmitted from the drive unit 13. The drive unit 13 includes a motor and others, and it rotates the supporter 12 so that the seat 11 supporting the user changes in direction. In this way, the posture control unit 10 changes the direction of the body of the user sitting on the seat 11.

[0017] The term "body direction" used below denotes the direction in which the user's body faces in the real space. In other words, the body direction coincides with the direction in which the front of the user's trunk faces. Also, the term "absolute face direction" is used to denote the direction of the user's face in the real space. According to this embodiment, the user's neck and face are not completely fixed to the seat 11. Consequently, the user is able to change the direction of his face as he turns his head while he is sitting on the seat 11. In other words, there is no guaranty that the direction of the user's body coincides with the absolute face direction.

[0020] The display unit 20 is a head-mounted display or a smart glass, which is worn on the user's head. Moreover, the display unit 20 includes a display element 21, a motion sensor 22, and a light-emitting element 23.

[0025] The information processing apparatus 40 is a desktop game machine, personal computer, or the like, and it includes a control unit 41, a memory unit 42, and an interface unit 43, as depicted in FIG. 2. Incidentally, the information processing apparatus 40 may be placed at any position away from or inside the posture control unit 10. It is possible to make connection by a communication cable between the information processing apparatus 40 and the display unit 20 if the information processing apparatus 40 is installed inside the posture control unit 10.
Source: http://appft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html (application number 16/151631)

I could see something like this working particulary well with a racing game (Gran Turismo, MotorStorm etc.) but overall could give most genres a high level of immersion for the player. Is this something you could see yourself using?
 

Birdseye

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
13,464
You're right, OP. Filing a patent doesn't mean it will be used. Be careful about/when reporting that kind of stuff
 

Gvon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
319
If I can mash in my steering wheel set up I'll buy one for gt, lol.
 

Lant_War

Banned
Jul 14, 2018
12,126
Holy fuck, imagine playing the Battlefront VR mission with this. I hope they actually develop this one
 

Sedated

Member
Apr 13, 2018
1,843
10000$

Seems cool. I wonder if they have a prototype running in their office. Must be a cool place where these things are tested.
 

RoninStrife

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,843
. Unbelievable! Totally expect this to exist... by PS Experience 2019... for the players, there of course

Reminds me of :


 

Airi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
62
Why was my brain's first thought "I want to assemble a Nintendo Labo version of this"?
 

Adamska

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,220
I could certainly see something of this scale being used by amusement parks and entertainment centers in a short term scenario (like two years from now). Not sure if this will ever be used as home entertainment outside some kind of rental deal with a specialized company.
 

Elixist

Member
Oct 31, 2017
807
Holy fuck, imagine playing the Battlefront VR mission with this. I hope they actually develop this one
indeed. my first thought after playin half an hour of that game was how amazing it would be to be in a hydraulic machine too. add in fans too for a movement sensation hnnggg

this would probably be made for arcades (if at all) looks like a 20-30k gadget lol
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,927
While sticking a giant human gyroscope type thing together with vr sounds great... Even if they did want to make this, it would never succeed as a consumer product, so it shall remain a dream.
 

TheChocoboCadet

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
366
That looks like it might raise the price of the PS5 a bit if bundled into the package. But the dude looks pretty happy in that sphere. So may be worth it? Guy may be feeling a bit of cognitive dissonance though after spending that kind of cash on a sphere. Will wait for reviews.