Sony Patent | Virtual Reality Presentation Of Real World Space

Patent: Virtual Reality Presentation Of Real World Space

Publication Number: 20200171394

Publication Date: 20200604

Applicants: Sony

Abstract

Methods and systems are provided for delivering a virtual reality (VR) experience of a real world space to a remote user via a head mounted display (HMD). A method provides for sending a request for the VR experience of the real world space and identifying a viewing location made by the user. The method includes operations for mapping the viewing location to a real world capture system for capturing video and audio at a location that corresponds to the viewing location and receiving real world coordinates for the real world capture system. Further, the method accesses a user profile of the user and receives a video stream of the real world space captured by the real world capture system. The method is able to identify and reskin a real world object with a graphical content element by overlaying the graphical content item in place of the image data associated with the real world object.

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

[0001] This application is a Continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/901,845, filed on Feb. 21, 2018 (U.S. Pat. No. 10,556,185, issued on Feb. 11, 2020), entitled “VIRTUAL REALITY PRESENTATION OF REAL WORLD SPACE,” which further claims priority to–U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/566,266, filed Sep. 29, 2017, entitled “VIRTUAL REALITY PRESENTATION OF REAL WORLD SPACE,” which are herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to virtual reality (VR) presentations of real world spaces and more particularly to methods and systems for providing a user of a head mounted display (HMD) with a VR experience of a live event such as an e-sports event that is remote to the user.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Electronic sports, or “esports,” are becoming an increasingly popular form of entertainment for spectators. Esports are a form of competition typically involving multiplayer video games that are facilitated by electronic systems such as video game servers and computer systems. Some of the more popular video game genres that are played in an esports context are real-time strategy games, combat games, first-person shooter (FPS) shooter games, and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games. Esports events become spectator events when the Esports game is played live in front of an audience. Many esports events are held in large arenas and provide audience members a view of the game action on a large display such as a jumbotron as well as live commentary from a commentator team. Thus, an esports live audience member is given an immersive real world experience of the game action, the players, the commentators, and the audience itself.

[0004] In many instances, esports fans that are not able to attend an esports event in person are still able to tune in via an online live stream of the event. Thus, remote spectators are able to get a generic video stream of the event that is produced by, for example, the organization hosting the event or a distribution company distributing the event. In either scenario, current video streams of esports events are not immersive. For example, a remote spectator watching an esports video stream on a display will not feel as if they are immersed in the arena where the esports event is being hosted. Moreover, there may be a plurality of camera views and “screen views” (e.g., what a player’s screen is displaying) that may be of interest to the spectator. Current broadcasts of esports to not allow consumers to choose which of the views they want shown.

[0005] It is in this context that embodiments arise.

SUMMARY

[0006] Embodiments of the present disclosure relate to methods and systems for delivering a virtual reality (VR) presentation of a real world space to a remote user via a head mounted display (HMD). In one embodiment, a method includes an operation for sending a request for the VR presentation of the real world space and for identifying a seat selection within the real world space made by the user, the seat selection being mapped to a real world capture system configured for capturing video and audio at a location that corresponds to the seat selection. The method also includes operations for receiving mapping data for the real world capture system, the mapping data including real world coordinates for the real world capture system. The method is able to access a user profile of the user having user preferences. According to some embodiments, the method receives a video stream of the real world space from the real world capture system, the video stream including a plurality of video images captured by one or more cameras of the real world capture system, the plurality of images being presented in the HMD from a perspective associated with the real world coordinates of the real world capture system corresponding to the seat selection. The method further includes operations for identifying a real world object configured for reskinning during presentation from the plurality of images of the video stream. According to this and other embodiments, the method reskins the real world object within the plurality of video images based on the user profile, the reskinning including overlaying a graphical content element in place of the image data associated with the real world object. In certain embodiments, the overlaying is geometrically adjusted based on the perspective associated with the real world capture system corresponding to the seat selection. The method then presents the video stream having been reskinned to the user via the HMD for the VR presentation.

[0007] Other aspects of the disclosure will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example the principles of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The disclosure may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a conceptual illustration of an embodiment for delivering a virtual reality (VR) presentation of an esports events taking place in a remote real world space.

[0010] FIG. 2 shows an overall flow of a method for reskinning a VR presentation of a real world space according to one embodiment.

[0011] FIG. 3 shows an overall flow of a method for using data gathered from the real world space to provide a VR presentation of a real world space having a point of view corresponding to a seat selection made by a user, according to one embodiment.

[0012] FIG. 4 shows an overall flow for reskinning a static real world object of a real world space during VR presentation of the real world space, according to one embodiment.

[0013] FIG. 5 shows an overall flow for reskinning a moving real world object of the real world space during VR presentation of the real world space, according to one embodiment.

[0014] FIG. 6 shows a conceptual illustration of a remote spectator making a seat selection for viewing a live event via an HMD, according to one embodiment.

[0015] FIG. 7 shows a conceptual illustration of a process that maps a remote spectator’s seat selection to a real world capture system, the real world capture system including a plurality of cameras and microphones for capturing events in the real world, according to one embodiment.

[0016] FIG. 8 shows a conceptual illustration of obtaining point of view mapping data associated with the real world capture system from real world space data and real world environment data, according to one embodiment.

[0017] FIG. 9 shows a conceptual illustration of reskinning real world objects in a real world view of an esports event.

[0018] FIGS. 10A and 10B show conceptual illustrations of geometrically adjusting a graphical element for overlaying on top of an ad for reskinning based on the perspective of the real world capture system.

[0019] FIG. 11 shows additional embodiments of real world objects that are configurable to be reskinned.

[0020] FIG. 12 shows a conceptual illustration of a remote spectator being presented with an in-game fly-through view of the video game being played at an esports event, according to one embodiment.

[0021] FIG. 13 shows a conceptual illustration of a remote spectator choosing between different views of an esports event for display, according to one embodiment.

[0022] FIG. 14 shows a diagram of an exemplary computing system that enables VR presentation of an esports event via HMD to a user, according to one embodiment.

[0023] FIG. 15 shows a conceptual illustration of two remote spectators interacting with one another virtually within the context of an esports event, according to one embodiment.

[0024] FIG. 16 shows an embodiment of a head mounted display (HMD) capable of being used with methods and processes presented here.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] The following embodiments describe methods, computer programs, and apparatuses for providing an immersive virtual experience of a live event to a remote spectator via HMD. It will be obvious, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present disclosure may be practiced without some or all of these specific details. In other instances, well known process operations have not been described in detail in order to not unnecessarily obscure the present disclosure.

[0026] As electronic sports, or “esports,” are becoming an increasingly popular form of entertainment for spectators. Esports are a form of competition typically involving multiplayer video games that are facilitated by electronic systems such as video game servers and computer systems. Some of the more popular video game genres that are played in an esports context are real-time strategy games, combat games, first-person shooter (FPS) shooter games, and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games. Esports events become spectator events when the Esports game is played live in front of an audience. Many esports events are held in large arenas and provide audience members a view of the game action on a large display such as a jumbotron as well as live commentary from a commentator team. Thus, an esports live audience member is given an immersive real world experience of the game action, the players, the commentators, and the audience itself.

[0027] In many instances, esports fans that are not able to attend an esports event in person are still able to tune in via an online live stream of the event. Thus, remote spectators are able to get a generic video stream of the event that is produced by, for example, the organization hosting the event or a distribution company distributing the event. In either scenario, current video streams of esports events are not immersive. For example, a remote spectator watching an esports video stream on a display will not feel as if they are immersed in the arena where the esports event is being hosted. Moreover, there may be a plurality of camera views and “screen views” (e.g., what a player’s screen is displaying) that may be of interest to the spectator. Current broadcasts of esports to not allow consumers to choose which of the views they want shown.

[0028] Methods and systems presented here allow a remote user of an HMD to view a VR presentation of a real world event such as an esports event. According to some embodiments, real world data such as video, audio, and other data are captured by devices located within a real world space such as an auditorium, an arena, a concert hall, a warehouse. The real world data including video and audio data are delivered to a VR hosting server or other content provider for processing. The VR hosting server is able to process the real world data and render a VR presentation of the real world event. The VR presentation data is sent over a network to an HMD of the user or to a computing device connected to the HMD.

[0029] According to some embodiments, certain areas or regions, or generally, real world objects, may be visually modified for the VR presentation. In one embodiment, the visual modification includes reskinning real world objects such as advertisements. Reskinning includes processes that overlay new content on top of existing content or replace or integrate pixel data associated with new content in place of the pixel data associated with existing content within the video frames. Embodiments contemplated here may use either method of reskinning. As a result, remote spectators of real world events may be provided with reskinned content that is more attuned to their interests and free of content that is unwanted.

[0030] FIG. 1 is a conceptual illustration of an embodiment for delivering a virtual reality (VR) presentation 106 of an esports event 100 to a remote user 101 via HMD 102 and VR environment 104. The esports event 100 is shown to include a first team 112 and a second team 114 playing against each other in a multiplayer video game hosted by a local server 116. Team banners 120 and 122 are shown indicate which team is which. A real-time presentation 103 of the happenings of the video game is displayed on a main display 118 such as a jumbotron, and includes live video of the video game as it is being played from various points of view.

[0031] Each player in the esports event 100 is shown to have their own gaming station where they can interact with a monitor and input devices while playing the multiplayer game. Each gaming station also has an audience-facing panel that is shown to display a live portrait view of each player as they play the multiplayer game. Also shown in FIG. 1 are a pair of commentators 105 who may provide play-by-play and color commentary regarding the game and its players.

[0032] The esports event 100 is further shown to include a plurality of physical advertisements that are viewable by audience 132. The physical advertisements may include printed banner advertisements, projected advertisements, LED displayed advertisements and the like. For example, the esports event is shown to include a left-wall ad 124 for milk, a right-wall ad 126 for instant noodles, a stage-wall ad 130 for energy drinks, and a commentator desk ad 128 for gaming products.

[0033] The audience 132 is shown to include a plurality of seats facing the stage of the esports event 100. According to some embodiments, a remote user 101 is able to choose a particular seat of the plurality of seats for the VR presentation 106 of the esports event 100. In the embodiment shown, the user 101 has chosen seat 134 having a point of view 136 from which to view the esports event 100 via the VR presentation 106. As will be described in more detail below, the point of view 136 of seat 134 is provided by a real world capture system 138 having a plurality of cameras and microphones located at seat 134 to capture the esports event 100 from the point of view 136 of the seat 134.

[0034] HMD 102 is shown to have access to the esports event 100 through a VR hosting server 107. The VR hosting server 107 receives real world data and game state data provided by the local server 116 for processing a VR presentation. For example, video game data such as game state information of the video game, as well as the video scenes of the video game being rendered from different points of view may be provided to VR hosting server 107 for processing. Moreover, real world data captured by the real world capture system 136 may be routed by local server 116 to the VR hosting server 107 for processing. In some embodiments, there may be plurality of real world capture systems for capturing real world data from a plurality of vantage points within esports event 100. As a result, a different server or plurality of servers may be used for serving real world data captured by the plurality of real world capture systems to remote users that is distinct from local server 116 for hosting the multiplayer video game.

[0035] The VR presentation 106 of the esports event 100 is shown to be from a point of view or vantage point of the seat 134 selected by remote user 101. As a result, the VR presentation 106 may provide a visual and audio experience of the esports event 100 as if remote user 101 were located at seat 134. In some embodiments, the real world capture system 138 is able to provide a 360 degree view of the esports event 100 and the physical space surrounding it such that the remote user 101 is also able to have a 360 degree view of the esports event 100 by moving turning their head or body. As a result, the remote user 101 is provided with an immersive VR presentation 106 of the esports event 100 that current esports broadcasts are unable to provide because the remote user 101 is provided with an experience as if they were inside the arena hosting the esports event 100.

[0036] According to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, a number of modifications have been made to the VR presentation 106 that differs from the real world data captured by the real world capture system 138. For example, the left-wall ad for milk 124 has been reskinned to be a left-wall ad 124’ for PlayStation in the VR presentation. Likewise, the right-wall ad 126 for instant noodles in the real world space appears to remote user 101 as a right-wall ad 126’ for Farpoint. Moreover, the stage-wall ad 136 and the commentator desk ad 128 have been reskinned to display ad content that is different than that of the real world space. Each of the reskinned ads 124’-130’ is shown to keep their perspective, size, and geometric proportions in the VR presentation 106 relative to that in the real world with respect to the point of view of the seat 134 and the real world capture system 138. For example, left-wall ad 124’ appears to the user 101 with the same perspective as left-wall ad 124 would if the VR presentation 106 were to occur without reskinning.

[0037] As mentioned earlier, reskinning may involve overlaying replacement content on top of existing content by inserting frames into a video stream having the existing content such that the new content is displayed instead of the existing content. In other embodiments, reskinning may involve replacing, blending, or integrating new pixel data associated with the new content into the existing pixel data associated with the existing content.

[0038] Moreover, it is envisioned that reskinning existing content with new content involves analyzing a perspective of the existing content such that the new content is reskinned having the same or similar perspective. In some embodiments, a method or system may gather data regarding the real world coordinates of each of the vertices of the existing content as well as real world coordinates of the real world capture system (e.g., the camera capturing the existing content). In these embodiments, a perspective of the existing content may be determined based on the gathered coordinates. For example, the vertices of the new content may be placed virtually in 3-dimensional space to match the coordinates of the vertices of the existing content and projected back into 2-dimensional space. The resulting 2-dimensional projection of the new content will have the same or a similar perspective as the existing content. In other embodiments of reskinning, reskinning may occur in 2-dimensional space by distort transforming or perspective distorting new content to occupy the same 2-dimensional area as the existing content within a video image.

[0039] Moreover, it is contemplated that reskinning used with the methods and systems presented here are enabled to dynamically reskin existing content that moves in relation to a camera point of view. For example, an object moving in the real world may be reskinned by tracking the object in each of the video frames and performing the reskinning on the object within the video frames. As the object moves, a perspective of the object may change as well. The reskinning methods contemplated here are able to track these changes in real time and reskin new content according to the changing perspective.

[0040] In other embodiments, the real world capture system may move within the real world space. Thus, even if real world objects are stationary in the real world, a perspective of a real world object will change while the camera moves. Methods and systems contemplated here are able to reskin real world objects according to a changing perspective as a camera of a real world capture system moves about the real world. Similar to reskinning a moving object, reskinning a stationary object for a moving camera point of view involves tracking an object over a series of video frames and overlaying or replacing existing image data associated with existing content with new image data associated with new content.

[0041] In some embodiments, existing content (e.g., real world ads) may be automatically identified using classifiers, object recognition, character recognition, and artificial intelligence. In these embodiments, existing content automatically identified are tagged to be replaced by a reskinning logic. For example, the VR hosting service may be instructed to identify and reskin a particular brand of beef jerky automatically ever time indicia of that brand is captured. It is envisioned that the VR hosting service may be enabled to automatically reskin indicia of the brand of beef jerky for the eventual VR presentation.

[0042] In some embodiments, the content used for reskinning (e.g., “PlayStation,” FarPoint,” etc.) may be based upon user preferences, user settings, user demographic, user browsing history, user shopping history, user viewing history, and the like. As a result, the remote user 101 may be provided with advertisement content that matches the interest of the remote user 101 in a way that does not distract from VR presentation 106 of the esports event 100.

[0043] FIG. 2 shows an overall flow of a method for reskinning a VR presentation of a real world space according to one embodiment. The method includes an operation 210 to request entry to a real world space from a user at a remote location to experience a VR presentation of the real world space using an HMD. The method then flows to operation 220, which serves to identify a user profile of the user, the user profile including user preferences. In some embodiments, the use profile and the user preferences may include data on user interest, user demographic, user shopping history, user browsing history, user viewing history, as well as social network data on social friend activity, interests, and the like. As a result, the method may be enabled to learn of products, services, events, etc., that are of interest to the remote user.

[0044] In operation 230, the method receives a seat selection from the user. As will be discussed in more detail below, the user may be offered a plurality of seats that correspond to real world locations in the real world space for viewing real world action. Different seats may provide different VR presentations due to the different seats having a different point of view or vantage point of the real world action. In some embodiments, different seats may be priced at different values. For example, the best seat in the house that is front and center of the stage may have a higher price or requirement than a seat that is located farther away from the stage.

[0045] In operation 240, the method requests a live video stream having a vantage point that corresponds to the seat selection of the remote user. As shown in FIG. 1, the live video stream may be provided by a real world capture system having a plurality of cameras and microphones. The method then flows to operation 250, which serves to receive real world coordinate location for the vantage point. Thus, for example, operation 250 may obtain real world coordinate location of the real world capture system shown in FIG. 1. Additionally, the method is able to obtain real world mapping data of the real world space, which may include real world coordinates of objects within the real world space. For example, if the real world space is an arena having a stage, the real world mapping data may provide information on where the stage is relative to the vantage point.

[0046] The method then flows to operation 260, which serves to execute a dynamic reskinning process for real world objects viewed on the HMD based on the real world coordinate location for the vantage point, the real world mapping data, and the user preferences. The real world objects used for dynamic reskinning may include any object in the real world, such as advertisements, banners, displays, surfaces, patches, floors, ceilings, electronic devices, etc.

[0047] FIG. 3 shows an overall flow of a method for using data gathered from the real world space to provide a VR presentation of a real world space having a point of view corresponding to a seat selection made by a user, according to one embodiment. Operation 310 identifies a seat selection made by the user for experiencing a VR presentation of a real world space. The method then flows to operation 320, which serves to obtain real world coordinate location for the seat selection for processing the VR presentation. The process for obtaining real world coordinates for the seat selection may involve mapping the seat selection to a real world capture system located in the real world that corresponds to the seat selection.

[0048] In some embodiments, a seat selecting process is similar to selecting seats for live events where a ticket buyer is provided with an option to buy tickets for particular seats within an arena. Thus, each seat selection maps to a real world seat in the real world space. In some embodiments, for every seat selection, there is a distinct real world capture system that captures events in the real world from a location that corresponds to the seat selection. In these embodiments, the real world coordinates for the real world seat will be similar to the real world coordinates of the real world capture system. In other embodiments, there may be two or more seat selections that map to the same real world capture system. As a result, the method will obtain the real world coordinates of the real world capture system for purposes of processing the VR presentation. In other embodiments, there may be a combination of one-to-one mapping and many-to-one mapping of seat selections to real world capture systems. Operation 320 is able to map the seat selection to a real world capture system that is the best fit in terms of proximity, viewing angle, etc. relative to the seat selection.

[0049] If the seat selection is for a seat in an auditorium or arena for hosting an esports event, the real world coordinate location of the real world capture system obtained by operation 320 help to identify where the real world capture system is relative to objects in the auditorium or arena. For example, a seat selection of AA01 may be mapped to a real world capture system that has a real world coordinate location of (x, y, z) within a coordinate system of the auditorium or arena.

[0050] Operation 330 is configured to access space mapping data for the real world space. Space mapping data may include a virtual map of the physical space in terms of the coordinate system of the auditorium or arena mentioned above. The space mapping data generally helps identify locations of objects, walls, floors, ceilings, seats, stages, etc. Again, if the real world space is an auditorium or arena hosting an esports event, the space mapping data may include coordinate data of the esports players, the commentators, the main display, the stage, advertisements, and other points of interest.

[0051] In operation 340, the method accesses space environment data for the real world space from the real world capture system that the seat selections maps to. Space environment data may include any type of data capable of being captured by the real world capture system. For example, as mentioned above, a real world capture system may include an array of cameras, microphones, and other sensors for measuring distances of objects. As a result, space environment data may include data gathered from a sound calibration process that detects acoustics properties of the auditorium relative to the position of the real world capture system. The acoustic properties detected may include directional acoustic reflectance, impedance, gain, harmonics, background or ambient noise, etc.

[0052] The space environment data obtained by operation 340 may also include measurements of distances between the real world capture system and various objects within the real world space. Angular distances between rays traced to vertices of real world objects such as corners of a large advertisement within the real world space may also be measured. For example, the space mapping data may be able to determine coordinate location of each of the four vertices of a large rectangular advertisement in the real world space. As a result, the space environment data may be usable to construct a 3-D model real world objects in the real world space.

[0053] In operation 340, data gathered from operation 320 (e.g., real world coordinate location for the real world capture system), operation 330 (e.g., space mapping data), and operation 340 (e.g., space environment data) are used to process point of view mapping data. Point of view mapping data may include data that is relevant to processing a VR presentation of the real world space as well as reskinning of real world object for the VR presentation. For example, point of view mapping data may include distances measured to real world objects, angular distances of rays traced to vertices of real world objects, real world coordinates of real world objects (e.g., coordinates of real world objects independent of the real world capture system), camera coordinates of real world objects (e.g., coordinates of real world objects relative to the real world capture system). In addition, the point of view mapping data may also include data on the acoustic properties of the real world space at the location of the real world capture system.

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