The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published another Sony virtual reality patent last week, which pertains to technology that will enable players wearing VR headsets to become more aware of their surroundings.
The application specifically talks about the head-mounted display (HMD) detecting voices around players and notifying them that they’re being spoken to. Instead of players having to take off the headset or having to guess if someone’s speaking to them, they’ll be given an option to pause the game and see what’s happening around them via an externally-facing camera.
An abstract reads:
A method includes the following: presenting gameplay of a video game through a head-mounted display (HMD), the HMD being disposed in a local environment; detecting a person speaking in the local environment, wherein detecting the person speaking includes capturing audio from the local environment by the HMD, and analyzing the captured audio to identify the person speaking in the local environment; responsive to detecting the person speaking in the local environment, presenting a notification through the HMD, the notification providing an option to pause the gameplay of the video game; responsive to receiving a command indicating selection of the option, pausing the gameplay of the video game and presenting through the HMD a view through an externally facing camera of the HMD that enables viewing of the person speaking in the local environment.
While these applications are no indication that the feature or technology being patented will materialize, they offer a glimpse into what companies are testing and working on. This particular application is for a feature that will certainly be welcome, and isn’t hard to imagine in future PlayStation VR headsets.
At the moment, we don’t know if Sony’s working on the next generation of PS VR but the company has indicated that it’ll unveil its VR plans at a later date.