A new patent from Meta uses smart engineering to open the door to gaming gloves, smart clothing and more designed for use with VR and AR.
Meta’s recent patent filings indicate that the company could be working on a new generation of wireless wearable technology designed for use with VR and AR. As more gamers begin to explore the growing field of virtual reality gaming, these devices could usher in a whole new way to experience these virtual worlds.
Meta has long been vocal about its desire to create more intuitive ways for users to interact with VR and AR, and earlier this year even showed off a prototype wrist controller developed after its acquisition of brain-computer interface company CTRL-Labs. in 2019. But a new patent published this month indicates that Meta may have even more ambitious plans for the next generation of control options for AR and VR. From wireless AR glasses to gaming gloves with built-in haptic feedback, the patent shows a variety of options for interacting with devices like the upcoming Meta Quest Pro VR headset.
Rather than focus on a specific control option, the patent details how wireless data can be transmitted from a wearable device to a VR headset or another computer. Although wearable devices like the Apple Watch have become common in recent years, most wearable devices today emit radio and electromagnetic signals in a way that causes much of the signal to be sent back through the wearer. This results in a weaker signal being sent to the wearer’s device, such as a phone when wearing a smartwatch, and more RF radiation being absorbed by the wearer. In contrast, Meta’s new patent uses an antenna sandwiched between two layers of material designed to divert signals from the user to a device such as a VR headset. This new technique may enable smaller, more powerful and more versatile portable devices.
The small size of the antenna described in the patent opens up the possibility of integrating them into a wide variety of wearable devices designed for everything from gaming to medical devices. Drawings filed with the patent show examples of wireless gaming gloves that could send and receive haptic feedback to a VR headset, AR goggles with antennas built into the frames, and a wrist-mounted device similar to the one Meta showed off earlier this year. . Wearable devices like these could allow gamers to actually feel the handle of a virtual sword in their hand, or allow them to scroll through game menus with a flick of the wrist.
As virtual reality and augmented reality become more common in everything from the gaming world to the business world, users will need more than just buttons and analog buttons to take full advantage of these technologies. This patent gives gamers an idea of how they can interact with their favorite titles in the future and could represent the next step toward the kind of full-body immersion seen in movies like ready player one.
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