philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


New Microsoft patent shows off a floor mat for your virtual reality experiences

QhNkhvDPjRUqgHw9n3h4L4-650-80-2The patent, spotted by Variety, details a floor mat that marks out a boundary for a gaming space. Your VR or AR headset could use the boundaries of the mat to work out where you are, and provide haptic feedback under your feet to help you stay within those boundaries.

As well as keeping you from knocking the television over or standing on the cat, the mat could also buzz your feet to provide in-game feedback as well. There are all sorts of possibilities that developers could make use of.

Pressure sensors inside the mat could be used to help work out a user's position in three-dimensional space, the patent suggests, reducing the reliance on cameras and sensors on board the VR/AR device itself for tracking position.

One other idea floated by the patent is having a dedicated 'starting point' in the middle of the mat – once the user stands in this position, a particular game or experience (or whatever it is) could launch into action.

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