Facebook’s rebranding to Meta in October 2021 has undoubtedly pushed the idea of the “metaverse” at the forefront of innovations. While the term has almost become synonymous with a virtual world – using various augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technologies, the metaverse has also come to represent a broad shift in how consumers interact with technology.
US 11,508,125: Navigating a virtual environment of a media content item
U.S. Patent 11,508,125 was filed on March 12, 2020 and was granted on November 22, 2022 to Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. Lucasfilm is highly recognized for its successful Star Wars franchise but has also made a name for itself in the gaming industry.
The ‘125 patent relates to an invention that can be used in interactive games where storylines are intermingled with the gaming experience. Specifically, the ‘125 patent provides a method of shifting from a cinematic mode to an interactive mode and vice versa.
In interactive mode, the player can control a character. On screen, this is manifested as a virtual camera following the actions of the character until such time that the player chooses to shift to cinematic mode again. One interesting feature of the ‘125 patent is the capability to alter the storyline based on what happens in the interactive mode.
This patent will further strengthen Lucasfilms portfolio in interactive games which may later pave the way for a more sophisticated metaverse gaming experience.
US 11,508,253: Systems and methods for networked virtual reality training
U.S. Patent 11,508,253 was filed on February 12, 2020 and was granted on November 22, 2022 to Architecture Technology Corporation (ATCorp). ATCorp is a technology solutions provider in diverse areas of technology. Their most interesting product is Cyrin which is an online platform for training cybersecurity students.
The ‘253 patent discloses a method for training students using a 3D virtual reality environment. Students can be grouped into teams where each team can be assigned a role in the training exercise. The ‘253 invention can be used for the Cyrin training platform where a sample implementation shows that one team can be assigned the role to defend the network while the other team can play the role of compromising the network.
This patent shows that metaverse’s application can be extended beyond the gaming industry. Not only is the ‘253 patent an asset to ATCorp’s patent portfolio, it also broadens the scope of metaverse’s advantage over conventional online interactive experience.
Meta Platforms Inc.
US20220375171: Systems and Methods for User Interaction with Artificial Reality Environments
US 2022/0375171. was filed on April 15, 2022 by Meta Platforms Technologies LLC (also known as Oculus) which is part of Meta Platforms Inc. (used to be Facebook Inc.). The ‘171 patent application relates to extending the capability of Meta’s virtual reality headsets to interact with virtual items in the far-field region.
The ‘171 candidate invention makes use of raycasting to select virtual items in an artificial reality environment. Similar to a ray of light, raycasting makes use of straight lines intersecting with the item for selection. Raycasting works best for near-field selection but proves problematic when the item is substantially far. This invention proposes a solution to a problem that is akin to “bending the ray” towards the virtual item.
This patent application is well-aligned with Meta’s rebranding from a company known for conventional social media platforms to a company positioning itself for the future.
For more insights on metaverse patents, read Facebook to Meta: Mini Patent Landscape Report.