A couple of fascinating patents filed for Valve are bringing to light new technology in the company’s playbook. The first describes jewelry that will act as a video game control, and the next files for patent of a virtual reality head display.
The first patent application describes a mechanism between rings and a watch or bracelet, that will communicate with various signals to control aspects of a video game.
“Methods and systems are disclosed for integrating LC circuits into a user’s jewelry for controlling systems such as computer games. The resonant frequency of the circuit at each of multiple rings worn by the user may be adjustable. A secondary coil within each ring may be moved in relation to the magnetic field generated by a primary coil that may be part of another piece of jewelry, such as a watch or a bracelet, to generate control signals. The magnetic field may inductively couple and power the rings, which may each contain an LC tank circuit. If powered, each of these circuits may oscillate at its resonant frequency. A receiver system may comprise an antenna and a tuning circuit to detect a resonant frequency as an input to control moves of a character within a game, for example for use with heads-up displays (HUDs) for augmented reality applications.”
There are a series of technological pictures, and a piece by piece description of the mechanism in the full patent page.
The next patent describes a device much more recognizable these days- a head-mounted display. The patent says the product will focus on creating a Virtual Reality environment through head tracking and projected images.
“Methods and systems are disclosed for using a head-mounted display that may consist of an image projector mounted to the head that projects one or more images onto a screen in front of one or both of the user’s eyes. Moreover, head-mounted displays may also include electronics to track the position of the user’s head. This tracking information can then be used as an input to change the display projected to the user–creating a Virtual Realty environment. Head tracking may be combined with transparent or semi-transparent display screens, to enable a user to see both a projected image and the physical world beyond the display screen. In certain embodiments, tracking information may be used to adjust the location of a projected image to compensate for the detected head movement.”
Seems like Valve is planning big things in technology, and we can’t wait to see if these devices come to fruition for gaming.