A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

google patent makes vr more immersive

Virtual reality can be an immersive experience, but it does sometimes have some limits. Google, though, has patented shoes which can break through virtual reality by making it more enveloping for consumers.

The patent, originally filed on May 9, 2018, details shoes for helping users move through virtual environments. The shoewear mentioned in Google’s filing could be motorized, with a flexible region on the bottom, and a sensor for which a computer or headset can track to create an endless movement in the virtual world.

“In a system and methods, in accordance with implementations described herein, motorized footwear may be tracked by the system as the user physically moves, for example, walking in the physical environment. The physical movement can be translated into virtual movement in the virtual environment. Motor mechanisms of the motorized footwear may be actuated, based on, for example, a detected physical position in the physical environment of the footwear,” explains Google.

Google’s patent also provides several explanations of how the motor system on board the shows would work. The motor would apparently provide power to a separate locomotion device, which can then, in turn, move a belt on the shoewear that will force movements to stop once the user enters a specific distance or breaks a boundary.

“Actuation of the motor may, in turn, actuate a locomotion device of the motorized footwear, to move the motorized footwear back in a return zone defined within the operational zone. This may allow the user to walk while remaining within a defined physical space in the physical environment,” explains Google.

Google is not the only company which is looking into changing the way consumers interact with virtual reality. There was a previous project from a research group which involved tricking the brain to solve the infinite walking program posed with VR headsets.

A group of scientists from EPFL and ETH Zurich also worked to develop thin and light VR gloves which aim to help virtual reality users touch virtual objects. Considering that current VR gloves are rather heavy, the experience looks to be very promising for consumers.

U.K. entrepreneur Mark Towner also created a cockpit-style simulator which allows consumers to swap out seats for different VR experiences.


Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Listen up! White noise device may make VR motion sickness a thing of the past

A simple device that sends white noise vibrations to the inner ear could be all it takes to fix the long-running problem of nausea in virtual reality. The developers are now seeking FDA approval.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Windows 10 user activity logs are sent to Microsoft despite users opting out

Windows 10 Privacy settings may not be enough to stop PCs from releasing user activity data to Microsoft. Users discovered that opting out of having their data sent to Microsoft does little to prevent it from being released.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.
Product Review

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a tiny notebook that gets lost in the crowd

The ZenBook 14 aims to be the smallest 14-inch notebook around, and it succeeds thanks to some tiny bezels. Performance and battery life are good, but the notebook lacks a standout feature other than size.