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Title:
VIRTUAL REALITY HEAD MOUNTING DISPLAY AND USER ADJUSTMENTS THEREFOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/193218
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described are various embodiments of a virtual reality head mounting display and user adjustments therefor. In some embodiments, a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) reconfigurable for a plurality of users is described. The HMD comprises an adjustable head-mounting system (HMS) having one or more HMS adjustments reconfigurable for each of the users; and a visor removably mountable to the HMS once reconfigured for a given user, and comprising a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted therein such that, upon selectively mounting the visor to the HMS, the given user is visually exposed to the VRD. In some embodiments, a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) comprises: a wearable visor having a VR display (VRD) operatively mounted therein to visually expose a user wearing the visor to a selectable VR feed selectively displayed by the VRD in operation; a wired communication interface operable to feed a wired VR feed to the VRD upon being physically connected to a wired VR feed source; and a wireless communication interface operable to feed a distinct wireless VR feed to the VRD upon wirelessly connecting with a wireless VR feed source.

Inventors:
CLEMENT, David John (1371 Harwood St, Suite 604Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 1S6, V6E 1S6, CA)
Application Number:
CA2017/050570
Publication Date:
November 16, 2017
Filing Date:
May 12, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WAVESINE SOLUTIONS INC. (1371 Harwood St, Suite 604Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 1S6, V6E 1S6, CA)
International Classes:
G02B27/01; A42B1/00; A42B1/24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERIZZI RAMSBOTTOM & FORSTER (1321 Blanshard St, Suite 301Victoria, British Columbia V8W 0B6, V8W 0B6, CA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is: 1. A virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) reconfigurable for a plurality of users, the HMD comprising:

an adjustable head-mounting system (HMS) having one or more HMS adjustments reconfigurable for each of the users; and

a visor removably mountable to said HMS once reconfigured for a given user, and comprising a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted therein such that, upon selectively mounting said visor to said HMS, said given user is visually exposed to said VRD.

2. The HMD of claim 1 :

wherein said one or more HMS adjustments comprise an HMS inter-pupillary distance (IPD) adjustment mechanism, said HMS IPD adjustment mechanism being adjustable to substantially correspond with an IPD of said given user; and

wherein said VRD system comprises respective right and left eye optics adjustably coupled to a VRD IPD adjustment mechanism that is automatically operatively engaged by said HMS IPD adjustment mechanism upon mounting said visor to said HMS so to automatically adjust a relative distance between said right and left eye optics to substantially correspond with said IPD of said given user.

3. The HMD of claim 2:

wherein said HMS IPD adjustment comprises a corresponding HMS IPD structure movable in concert with said HMS IPD adjustment mechanism to a position representative of said IPD of said given user; and

wherein said VRD IPD mechanism comprises a corresponding VRD IPD structure mechanically coupled to said right and left eye optics and shaped to engage said HMS IPD structure upon mounting the visor to said HMS and automatically move said right and left eye optics to correspond with said IPD of said given user.

4. The HMD of claim 3 :

wherein said HMS IPD structure comprises outwardly projecting pegs; and wherein said VRD IPD structure comprises corresponding spring-biased inward facing tracks shaped to engage said pegs to slide along said tracks as said VRD IPD mechanism correspondingly moves said right and left eye optics against said spring-bias to substantially correspond with said IPD of said given user.

5. The HMD of claim 4, wherein said tracks terminate in respective pin insertion channels that receive said pins in sliding engagement therein to secure said right and left eye optics in their final operative position.

6. The HMD of any one of claims 3 to 5, wherein said VRD IPD mechanism comprises a pivoting mechanism that automatically pivots said right and left eye optics relative to one another upon engagement with said HMS IPD structure.

7. The HMD of any one of claims 3 to 6:

wherein said visor is mounted to said HMS via a pivot disposed so to allow said visor to pivot between lowered and raised positions such that said given user is selectively visually exposed to and substantially unobstructed by said VRD, respectively; and

wherein said VRD IPD mechanism is engaged and actuated by said HMS IPD structure upon said visor being lowered to said lowered position. 8. The HMD of claim 7, wherein said pivot is slidingly engaged in a corresponding slide to slide said visor relative to said given user's face between a retracted and engaged position when in said lowered position.

9. The HMD of claim 3 :

wherein said HMS IPD structure comprises inwardly tapered peg-receiving target channels; wherein said VRD IPD mechanism comprises laterally sliding optics mounts; and wherein said VRD IPD structure comprises corresponding inward facing pegs shaped to slide against corresponding tapered edges of said channels as they are engaged therein to correspondingly slide said laterally sliding optics mounts to substantially correspond with said IPD of said given user.

10. The HMD of claim 9:

wherein said visor is mounted to said HMS via a sliding pivot disposed so to allow said visor to pivot between lowered and raised positions such that said given user is selectively visually exposed to and substantially unobstructed by said VRD, respectively, and so to slide said visor relative to said given user's face between a retracted and engaged position when in said lowered position; and

wherein said VRD IPD mechanism is engaged and actuated by said HMS IPD structure upon said visor being slid into said engaged position.

11. The HMD of claim 1 :

wherein said one or more HMS adjustments comprise an HMS focal distance (FD) adjustment mechanism, said HMS FD adjustment mechanism being adjustable to substantially correspond with a FD of said given user; and

wherein said VRD system comprises optics adjustably coupled to a VRD FD adjustment mechanism that is automatically operatively engaged by said HMS FD adjustment mechanism upon mounting said visor to said HMS so to automatically adjust said optics to substantially correspond with said FD of said given user. 12. The HMD of claim 1, wherein said one or more HMS adjustments comprise an optical component or jig visible by the user when the HMS is worn during adjustments to provide a visual cue to the user when said adjustments result in a predictably improved HMD configuration. 13. The HMD of claim 12, wherein said optical component or jig is adjustable to correspond to the user's inter-pupillary distance (IPD.

14. The HMD of claim 12, wherein said optical component or jig is perceptively aligned by the user to adjust at least one of a roll, pitch or yaw of the HMS relative to the user's head in optimizing a VRD position relative to the user's eyes once mounted.

15. The HMD of any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein said one or more adjustments comprise one or more head-fitting adjustments disposed so to adjust a fit of said HMS to said given user prior to said visor being mounted thereon. 16. The HMD of claim 15, wherein said one or more head-fitting adjustments comprise joint head-fitting adjustments jointly coupled to a single-action actuator configured to selectively tighten and release said fit via joint actuation of said joint head- fitting adjustments. 17. The HMD of claim 16, wherein said two or more joint head-fitting adjustments comprise distinct head pads in relative sliding engagement so to be movable between fit tightening and fit releasing positions, wherein said single-action actuator comprises a crank or dial operatively associated with one or more tensioning cables or wires operatively coupled to said distinct head pads to selectively tighten or release said fit.

18. The HMD of any one of claims 15 to 17, wherein said one or more head-fitting adjustments comprise at least one removable adjustable head-abutting pad.

19. The HMD of claim 18, wherein said removable adjustable head-abutting pad is removably engaged via an engagement hub and corresponding slide so to allow sliding adjustment of said head-abutting pad to accommodate at least one of varying user head sizes and shapes.

20. The HMD of any one of claims 15 to 19, wherein at least one of said head fitting adjustments consists of a motorized adjustment automatically adjustable between a series of selectable positions such that a given position may be automatically identified and selected in response to a depth sensor scan of said given user's head.

21. The HMD of any one of claims 1 to 20, wherein at least one of said HMS adjustments consists of a motorized adjustment automatically adjustable between a series of programmable positions such that a given programmable position may be stored and retrieved in association with said given user to automatically reconfigure said HMS for said given user. 22. A virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) comprising:

an adjustable head-mounting system (HMS); and

a visor comprising a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted therein;

wherein said visor is removably mountable to said HMS via a pivot disposed so to allow said visor to pivot between lowered and raised positions such that a given user is selectively visually exposed to and substantially unobstructed by said VRD; and

wherein said pivot is slidingly engaged in a corresponding slide to slide said visor relative to said given user's face when in said lowered position between a retracted and engaged position.

23. A virtual reality (VR) system comprising:

a plurality of adjustable head-mounting systems (HMS) having one or more HMS adjustments reconfigurable for each of a plurality of system users; and

at least one visor interchangeably mountable to any of said HMS, and comprising a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted therein such that, upon selectively mounting said visor to a given HMS, a given user thereof is visually exposed to said VRD.

The system of claim 23 wherein said one or more HMS adjustments comprise an HMS inter-pupillary distance (IPD) adjustment mechanism, said HMS IPD adjustment mechanism being adjustable to substantially correspond with an IPD of said given user; and

wherein said VRD system comprises respective right and left eye optics adjustably coupled to a VRD IPD adjustment mechanism that is automatically operatively engaged by said HMS IPD adjustment mechanism upon mounting said visor to said HMS so to automatically adjust a relative distance between said right and left eye optics to substantially correspond with said IPD of said given user. 25. The system of claim 23 or claim 24, wherein said visor is mounted to said given HMS via a pivot disposed so to allow said visor to pivot between lowered and raised positions such that said given user is selectively visually exposed to and substantially unobstructed by said VRD. 26. The system of claim 25, wherein said pivot is consists of a pivot slidingly engaged in a corresponding slide to slide said visor relative to said given user's face when in said lowered position between a retracted and an engaged position.

27. The system of any one of claims 23 to 24, wherein said one or more adjustments comprise one or more head-fitting adjustments disposed so to adjust a fit of said given

HMS to said given user prior to said visor being mounted thereon.

28. The system of any one of claims 23 to 27, wherein at least one of said HMS adjustments consists of a motorized adjustment automatically adjustable between a series of programmable positions such that a given programmable position may be stored and retrieved in association with said given user to automatically reconfigure said HMS for said given user.

29. The system of claim 28, wherein said motorized adjustment comprises one or more motors integrated within each of said HMS.

30. The system of claim 28 or claim 29, further comprising a user database operable to store said given programmable position in association with said given user in a corresponding user profile accessible by said HMS in automatically reconfiguring said HMS for said given user.

31. The system of claim 30, wherein said user database comprises a remotely accessible database, and wherein said HMS comprises a communication interface operable to communicate with said remotely accessible database. 32. A virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) comprising:

a wearable visor having a VR display (VRD) operatively mounted therein to visually expose a user wearing said visor to a selectable VR feed selectively displayed by said VRD in operation;

a wired communication interface operable to feed a wired VR feed to said VRD upon being physically connected to a wired VR feed source; and

a wireless communication interface operable to feed a distinct wireless VR feed to said VRD upon wirelessly connecting with a wireless VR feed source.

33. The VR HMD of claim 32, wherein said wired VR feed source is associated with a tangible device such that designated physical user interactions with said tangible device are immersed into said wired VR feed.

34. The VR HMD of claim 33, wherein said tangible device is a simulated vehicle that immerses the user into a vehicular experience, and wherein said wireless VR feed immerses the user in a mobile environment surrounding said vehicular experience.

35. The VR HMD of any one of claims 32 to 34, wherein said wired communication interface is operatively associated with a switch configured to automatically switch from said wireless feed source to said wireless feed source upon detecting a wired connection therewith.

36. The VR HMD of any one of claims 32 to 35, wherein said wired communication interface comprises an hot plug configured to automatically reported a wired connection thereto and invoke a switch from said wireless feed source to said wired feed source. 37. The VR HMD of any one of claims 32 to 36, further comprising an onboard feed switch configured to responsively switch between said wired feed source and said wireless feed source.

38. The VR HMD of any one of claims 32 to 37, wherein said wireless communication interface is operable to receive a wireless feed switch request and invoke a feed switch accordingly.

39. A virtual reality (VR) system comprising:

a plurality of head mounting displays (HMD) as defined in claim 32; and one or more tangible devices having a respective wired VR source feed associated therewith such that designated physical user interactions with said tangible device are immersed into said wired VR feed.

40. The VR system of claim 39, wherein said tangible device is a simulated vehicle that immerses the user into a vehicular experience, and wherein said wireless VR feed immerses the user in a mobile environment surrounding said vehicular experience.

Description:
VIRTUAL REALITY HEAD MOUNTING DISPLAY AND USER ADJUSTMENTS

THEREFOR

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The present disclosure relates to virtual reality systems, and, in particular, to a virtual reality head mounting display and user adjustments therefor.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Virtual Reality (VR) systems have been contemplated for some time, with recent advances in available hardware and communication technology now allowing long contemplated applications to come to life.

[0003] Motion capture technology evolved out of the need to accurately record human movement and then analyse and reconstruct this movement as a post process. Virtual reality also needs to accurately record human movement but requires real time tracking information. It is possible to use conventional motion capture technology to facilitate VR however the workflow in setting up and running motion capture systems has critical failings that prevent it from becoming a commercially viable solution for large scale VR immersive environments.

[0004] Current commercial head tracked VR HMD technology utilizes cabling that physically connects HMDs to a PC. This reduces cost and overcomes certain technical challenges, however, the mere fact of having to have a cable being dragged as people move around creates safety issues and degrades the immersive experience due the physical tugging of the cable.

[0005] Furthermore, while various VR HMD designs have been made available to the public, these are generally cumbersome or ill-fitted, or can require significant adjustment time when transferring a given HMD from one user to the next.

[0006] This background information is provided to reveal information believed by the applicant to be of possible relevance. No admission is necessarily intended, nor should be construed, that any of the preceding information constitutes prior art or forms part of the general common knowledge in the relevant art.

SUMMARY

[0007] The following presents a simplified summary of the general inventive concept(s) described herein to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is not intended to restrict key or critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention beyond that which is explicitly or implicitly described by the following description and claims. [0008] A need exists for a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) and user adjustments therefor that overcome some of the drawbacks of known techniques, or at least, provides a useful alternative thereto. Some aspects of this disclosure provide examples of such HMDs, and VR systems and applications amenable thereto.

[0009] In accordance with one aspect, there is provided a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) reconfigurable for a plurality of users, the HMD comprising: an adjustable head-mounting system (HMS) having one or more HMS adjustments reconfigurable for each of the users; and a visor removably mountable to said HMS once reconfigured for a given user, and comprising a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted therein such that, upon selectively mounting said visor to said HMS, said given user is visually exposed to said VRD.

[0010] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) comprising: an adjustable head-mounting system (HMS); and a visor comprising a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted therein; wherein said visor is removably mountable to said HMS via a pivot disposed so to allow said visor to pivot between lowered and raised positions such that a given user is selectively visually exposed to and substantially unobstructed by said VRD; and wherein said pivot is slidingly engaged in a corresponding slide to slide said visor relative to said given user's face when in said lowered position between a retracted and engaged position.

[0011] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a virtual reality (VR) system comprising: a plurality of adjustable head-mounting systems (HMS) having one or more HMS adjustments reconfigurable for each of a plurality of system users; and at least one visor interchangeably mountable to any of said HMS, and comprising a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted therein such that, upon selectively mounting said visor to a given HMS, a given user thereof is visually exposed to said VRD. [0012] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) comprising: a wearable visor having a VR display (VRD) operatively mounted therein to visually expose a user wearing said visor to a selectable VR feed selectively displayed by said VRD in operation; a wired communication interface operable to feed a wired VR feed to said VRD upon being physically connected to a wired VR feed source; and a wireless communication interface operable to feed a distinct wireless VR feed to said VRD upon wirelessly connecting with a wireless VR feed source.

[0013] In one embodiment, the wired VR feed source is associated with a tangible device such that designated physical user interactions with the tangible device are immersed into the wired VR feed. In one such embodiment, the tangible device is a simulated vehicle that immerses the user into a vehicular experience, and wherein the wireless VR feed immerses the user in a mobile environment surrounding the vehicular experience.

[0014] In one embodiment, the wired communication interface is operatively associated with a switch configured to automatically switch from said wireless feed source to said wireless feed source upon detecting a wired connection therewith. [0015] In one embodiment, the wired communication interface comprises an hot plug configured to automatically reported a wired connection thereto and invoke a switch from said wireless feed source to said wired feed source.

[0016] In one embodiment, the VR HMD further comprises an onboard feed switch configured to responsively switch between the wired feed source and the wireless feed source.

[0017] In one embodiment, the wireless communication interface is operable to receive a wireless feed switch request and invoke a feed switch accordingly.

[0018] In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a virtual reality (VR) system comprising: a plurality of head mounting displays (HMD) as defined above; and one or more tangible devices having a respective wired VR source feed associated therewith such that designated physical user interactions with said tangible device are immersed into said wired VR feed.

[0019] In one embodiment, the tangible device is a simulated vehicle that immerses the user into a vehicular experience, and wherein the wireless VR feed immerses the user in a mobile environment surrounding said vehicular experience.

[0020] Other aspects, features and/or advantages will become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description of specific embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0021] Several embodiments of the present disclosure will be provided, by way of examples only, with reference to the appended drawings, wherein:

[0022] Figure 1 is a perspective view of a virtual reality (VR) head-mounting display (HMD), in accordance with one embodiment;

[0023] Figures 2A and 2B are side views of the head-mounting display of Figure 1 in lowered and engaged, and raised and retracted positions, respectively; [0024] Figures 3A and 3B are perspective and side views, respectively, of a selectively and interchangeably removable visor of the HMD shown of Figure 1;

[0025] Figure 4A and 4B are perspective and side views, respectively, of a head- mounting system of the HMD of Figure 1, to which the visor shown in Figures 3 A and 3B can be selectively and interchangeably mounted;

[0026] Figures 5A and 5B are perspective right and left side views of the HMD of Figure 1, having a single-action head-fitting adjustment mechanism, in accordance with one embodiment;

[0027] Figure 6 is a perspective view of a display screen mounting assembly for mounting a display screen in the visor of Figures 3 A and 3B;

[0028] Figure 7 is a perspective view of a spring-biased lens mounting and inter- pupillary distance (IPD) adjustment mechanism, for use in the visor of Figure 3 A and 3B, in accordance with one embodiment;

[0029] Figures 8A to 8D are perspective views of the IPD adjustment mechanism of Figure 7 shown sequentially as the IPD mechanism is automatically adjusted upon positioning the visor for active use.

[0030] Figure 9 is a perspective view of cooperative lens mounting and IPD adjustment mechanisms in an alternate visor and head-mounting system configuration, in accordance with another embodiment; [0031] Figure 10 is a top view of the cooperative lens mounting and IPD adjustment mechanisms of Figure 9;

[0032] Figure 11 is a perspective view of a laterally sliding lens mount of the IPD adjustment mechanisms of Figure 9;

[0033] Figures 12A and 12B are perspective and front elevation views of laterally adjustable tapered peg-receiving channels of the IPD adjustment mechanisms of Figure 9; [0034] Figure 13 is a diagrammatic view of a wireless VR signal communication and processing system operable with the FIDM of Figure 1, in accordance with one embodiment;

[0035] Figure 14 is schematic circuit diagram of hardware operable in an embodiment of the FIDM of Figure 1 to execute an embodiment of the system of Figure

13;

[0036] Figure 15 is a schematic diagram of a time-share wireless multi-user VR configuration, in accordance with one embodiment;

[0037] Figures 16A and 16B are schematic diagrams of a wireless multi-user VR system in which users migrate from a tethered transit stage (A) to a wireless mobile stage (B), in accordance with one embodiment;

[0038] Figure 17 is schematic diagram of VR experience center providing a full immersion VR experience via a staged sequence of tethered transit and wireless mobile stages, in accordance with one embodiment;

[0039] Figure 18 is a front perspective view of a VR HMD having a head mounting system HMS and removable visor, in accordance with another embodiment;

[0040] Figure 19 is a rear perspective view of the HMD of Figure 18;

[0041] Figures 20A and 20B are side views of the HMD of Figure 18 shown in a lowered and raised visor configuration, respectively;

[0042] Figure 21 is a front perspective view of the visor of the HMD of Figure 18;

[0043] Figure 22 is a front perspective view of the HMS of the HMD of Figure 18;

[0044] Figure 23 is a front perspective view of the HMS of Figure 22 showing coupling of an inter-pupillary distance (IPD) calibration rig, in accordance with one embodiment; [0045] Figures 24A and 24B are rear and front perspective views, respectively, of the IPD calibration rig of Figure 23;

[0046] Figure 25 is a rear internal perspective view of a VRD and associated IPD adjustment mechanism, in accordance with one embodiment; [0047] Figure 26 is a flow diagram of VRD startup flow for automatically selecting between a wired tethered stream and a wireless stream, in accordance with one embodiment;

[0048] Figure 27 is a flow diagram of a VRD wired mode, in accordance with one embodiment; and [0049] Figure 28 is a flow diagram of a VRD wireless mode, in accordance with one embodiment.

[0050] Elements in the several figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be emphasized relative to other elements for facilitating understanding of the various presently disclosed embodiments. Also, common, but well- understood elements that are useful or necessary in commercially feasible embodiments are often not depicted in order to facilitate a less obstructed view of these various embodiments of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION [0051] Various implementations and aspects of the specification will be described with reference to details discussed below. The following description and drawings are illustrative of the specification and are not to be construed as limiting the specification. Numerous specific details are described to provide a thorough understanding of various implementations of the present specification. However, in certain instances, well-known or conventional details are not described in order to provide a concise discussion of implementations of the present specification. [0052] Various apparatuses and processes will be described below to provide examples of implementations of the system disclosed herein. No implementation described below limits any claimed implementation and any claimed implementations may cover processes or apparatuses that differ from those described below. The claimed implementations are not limited to apparatuses or processes having all of the features of any one apparatus or process described below or to features common to multiple or all of the apparatuses or processes described below. It is possible that an apparatus or process described below is not an implementation of any claimed subject matter.

[0053] Furthermore, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the implementations described herein. However, it will be understood by those skilled in the relevant arts that the implementations described herein may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures and components have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the implementations described herein. [0054] In this specification, elements may be described as "configured to" perform one or more functions or "configured for" such functions. In general, an element that is configured to perform or configured for performing a function is enabled to perform the function, or is suitable for performing the function, or is adapted to perform the function, or is operable to perform the function, or is otherwise capable of performing the function. [0055] It is understood that for the purpose of this specification, language of "at least one of X, Y, and Z" and "one or more of X, Y and Z" may be construed as X only, Y only, Z only, or any combination of two or more items X, Y, and Z (e.g., XYZ, XY, YZ, ZZ, and the like). Similar logic may be applied for two or more items in any occurrence of "at least one ..." and "one or more..." language. [0056] The systems and methods described herein provide, in accordance with different embodiments, different examples of a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD) and user adjustments therefor, and VR systems amenable thereto. [0057] With reference to Figure 1, and in accordance with one embodiment, a virtual reality (VR) head mounting display (HMD), generally referred to using the numeral 100, will now be described. The HMD 100 generally comprises an adjustable head-mounting system (HMS) 102 and a visor 104 removably mountable thereto. The HMD 100 in this example is generally reconfigurable for multiple users, having one or more user-specific adjustments to improve comfort and/or the user experience by better matching the user's head size, shape and/or eyes, such as the user's inter pupillary distance (IPD). As will be described in greater detail below, these user-specific adjustments are generally provided on the HMS 102 such that, once the HMS 102 has been adjusted for a given user, the visor 104 can be mounted thereto so to selectively expose the user to a virtual reality display (VRD) system operatively mounted within the visor 104.

[0058] With added reference to Figures 2 A, 2B, 3 A and 4 A, the visor 104 in this example is mounted to the HMS 102 via a sliding pivot consisting of a visor slide track 106 disposed on opposed inner surfaces 108 of the visor's frame 110 shaped to receive therein corresponding HMS pivot hubs 112 (see Figure 4A) located on either side of the HMS 102. In mechanically coupling the visor's slide tracks 106 to the HMS's pivot hubs 112, the visor is allowed to pivot between lowered (Figure 2A) and raised (Figure 2B) positions such that the given user is selectively visually exposed to and substantially unobstructed by the VRD, respectively, and allowed to slide relative to the user's face between a retracted (not shown) and engaged (Figure 2B) position when in the lowered position. The visor 104 further includes a fixed or removable optics baffle 111 and lens eye cups 113, the former effectively encasing the visor's optics and display, and the latter enhancing the user's immersion into the VR system by limiting peripheral vision and more or less restricting the user's visibility beyond the HMD 100. In some embodiments, the baffle 111 and/or eye cups 113 may be removable so to allows users to select a level of immersion, which help new users adapt to the VR system before attempting full visual immersion with little to no external visual access. In the case of a removable baffle/eyecup, different shapes and/or sizes may be provided based on user fit and/or preferences, for instance, which may be interchangeably utilized and mounted to the HMD via corresponding snap, magnetic or other such connections. The user's preferred selection may also be recorded, either manually, or via some automated identification method such as a RFID, barcode or like implementation and stored in a user profile, for example, as will be described in further detail below.

[0059] The HMS 102 further comprises on or more head-fitting adjustments disposed so to adjust a fit of the HMS 102 to the user prior to the visor 104 being mounted thereon. For example, and with particular reference to Figures 4 A, 4B, 5 A and 5B, the HMS 104 comprises a set of adjustable forehead-abutting pads 114 selectively disposable along respective slide tracks 116 to adjust abutment points between the HMS 102 and the user's forehead, which both allows to account for the user's particular head size and shape, but also to limit the number of contact points between the HMS 102 and the user's head to increase comfort and facilitate cleaning between users, for example.

[0060] The HMS 104 also includes a set of adjustable head-abutting pads 118 selectively disposable along respective slide J-tracks 120 to adjust abutment points between the HMS 102 and the back of the user's head, again to both allow to account for the user's particular head size and shape, but also to limit the number of contact points between the HMS 102 and the user's head. For instance, by carefully adjusting the forehead-abutting and head-abutting pads in their respective tracks, the user can truly adapt a fit of the HMS to their head shape and size.

[0061] In one embodiment, as the head pads 114, 118 are easily removable so to facilitate cleaning between users or sessions, or again to allow different pad shapes, types and/or sizes to be readily interchanged to accommodate different users and/or activities. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, each pad includes an engagement hub 122 that can be fitted (e.g. snap-fit) or otherwise engaged in their corresponding slide 116, 120.

[0062] To further improve fit, the head-abutting pads 118 and corresponding J-slide tracks 120 are provided in an adjustable HMS back loop 124 that is itself adjustable (e.g. see exemplary embodiment of Figures 4A, 4B, 5 A and 5B) relative to an upper shell 126 of the HMS 102. For example, in the illustrated embodiment of Figures 5A and 5B, the back loop extremities 128 are shaped and sized to couple in sliding engagement with corresponding lower coupling arms 130 of the inner shell 126 so to slide in relation thereto to increase or decrease an overall head volume circumscribed by the HMS 102, and thus correspondingly raise or lower a position of the head-abutting pads 118 against the back of the user's head.

[0063] In the illustrated embodiment, this head volume adjustment mechanism can be actuated via a single-action actuator consisting of a crank 132 operating on a cable 134 (i.e. see Figures 5A and 5B) that runs along the inner shell 126 and down each coupling arm 130 to engage each of the back loop extremities 128 such that the back loop 124 can be raised on each side to a snug fit against the back of the user's head as the crank 132 is tightened. A removable or easily cleanable pad 136 may also be integrally or removably provided at the apex of the inner shell 126, again to minimize contact points to the head and improve comfort, for example.

[0064] In one embodiment, at least one of the head fitting adjustments may consist of a motorized adjustment, for example that is automatically adjustable between a series of selectable positions using a motorized actuator or the like. For example, a particular adjustment position could be selected and stored against a particular user profile, and retrieved each time this user makes use of the HMS so to automatically adjust the HMS accordingly. For example, a given user profile could be stored in memory on the HDM 100 (e.g. via selectable discrete memory presets) and/or on a computation device communicatively linked thereto (e.g. a VR feed/environment source or the like).

[0065] In one embodiment, the adjustment position could be manually selected, for example via manual positioning of the various head pads and/or back loop. In other embodiments, the adjustment position could otherwise be selected using a manual motorized actuation of these adjustments until an appropriate fit is reached and relevant adjustment positions are identified and stored accordingly.

[0066] In yet another embodiment, the HMS, or related equipment, could be provided with a depth sensor or the like to automatically scan the user's head for size and shape, and select appropriate adjustment positions accordingly, which positions could again be stored and retrieved as appropriate against a particular user profile. [0067] Appropriate fit positions could otherwise be identified on-the-fly, either via manual adjustment or motorized adjustment, the latter optionally driven by an automated head size/shape scanning device or the like.

[0068] In embodiments invoking motorized adjustments, for example, drawn from a user profile and settings, such adjustments may be mechanically imparted by a set of one or more adjustment motors integrated within the HMS or VRD and communicatively linked or linkable to the user profile via an appropriate communication link (e.g. wireless Wi-Fi, wired link, etc.). In other embodiments, mechanical adjustment mechanisms in the HMS and/or VRD may be configured to mechanically couple with an adjustment station configured to replicate the shape and from of a generic user head and fitted with motors or like actuators configured to couple with the adjustment mechanisms so to automatically adjust the HMS and/or VRD based on the user profile.

[0069] As will be appreciated by the skilled artisan, other head-fitting adjustments may be considered without departing from the general context and nature of the present disclosure.

[0070] With reference to Figures 3 A, 3B, 6 and 7, the VRD system of the visor 104 will generally include a digital display mounted via an appropriate display mounting system and hardware (Figure 6) in the visor's front end 138. The digital display is operatively coupled to a VR feed (i.e. wired or wireless feed), which will generally include respective right eye and left eye feeds displayed on respective digital displays (e.g. LCD) screens, or juxtaposed on a same screen. In the illustrated embodiment, as will be described in greater detail below, most of the image processing is executed on and by the HMD 100 by appropriate hardware in the backside module 140 of the visor 104. A wired and/or wireless communication interface will also be provided to receive VR feeds from a VR system processor, for example.

[0071] An adjustable lens mechanism 142 (Figure 7) having right and left eye lenses 144 is also operatively mounted within the visor's front end 138 so to at least partially govern viewing optics for each of the user's eyes. In the illustrated embodiment, the adjustable lens mechanisms 142 provides an adjustable IPD mechanism by which an IPD of a given user may be accounted for in delivering an improved visual and immersive VR experience. For example, by adjusting a distance between the lenses 144 to correspond with a distance between the user's pupils, a better viewing and immersive experience can be provided. [0072] In the illustrated embodiment, the lens mechanism 142 is configured to engage a corresponding HMS IPD mechanism such that a given user may first adjust the HMS IPD mechanism on the HMS 102 to correspond with their IPD, and then have this IPD adjustment automatically translate to a corresponding IPD configuration in the visor 104 when mounted to the HMS 102. In the illustrated embodiment of Figures 4A and 4B, the HMS IPD mechanism consists of respective right and left eye pins 160 that extend outwardly from the HMS 102 and that are adjustably positioned along respective oblique tracks 162 in accordance with the user's IPD. For instance, an IPD adjustment tool (not shown), can be provided that includes respective eye apertures that can be moved to correspond with a location of the user's eyes and thus reflect the user's IPD. Adjustment of the IPD adjustment tool can be mechanically coupled a corresponding displacement of the pins 160 along tracks 162 so to set a position of these pins in advance of visor mounting. Once the pins are set 160, and all other user-specific adjustments have been completed to promote an optimal fit, the visor 102 can be mounted to the HMS 102 for operative use. [0073] With particular reference to Figures 7 and 8A to 8D, each lens 144 is mounted to the mechanism 142 via respective apertures defined in right and left eye lens mounts 146 which are themselves structurally formed at the lower end of respective spring-biased L-shaped pivot structures or levers 148. Each lever 148 pivots about a horizontal pivot pin 150 fitted with a torsion spring 152 mechanically coupled between the pin 150 and lever 148 to exert a rotational force biasing each lens towards one another in a terminal contracted position that minimizes a relative distance between the lenses 142, which is appropriate for users having a relatively short IPD.

[0074] When the visor 104 is mounted to the HMS 102, it is first coupled to the pivot hubs 112 via visor slides 106 in a raised and retracted position, namely so to couple the pivot hubs 112 to the rounded receiving extremities 164 (Figure 3A) of the slides 106. With particular reference to Figures 8 A to 8D, an inner-facing surface of each lever 148 also includes an inward-facing J-track or ridge 154 formed to engage the HMS IPD pins 160 as the visor is lowered to a lowered extracted position to translate the pre-set IPD adjustment thereof to the lenses 144 by having the pins 160 slide along the track 154 and automatically pivot the levers 148 against their respective spring-biases to corresponding IPD positions (i.e. to widen the distance between lenses along respective arcuate paths). This sequence can be seen in Figure 8A where the lens mechanism 142 is first lowered toward the pins 160, then in Figure 8B where the lens mechanism 142 engages the tracks 154, and then in Figure 8C where the lenses 144 are automatically spread apart against the spring bias as the further lowering of the lens mechanism 142 upon the pins 160 imparts a corresponding pivot action of levers 148 until a terminal position is reached as the end of the pins 160 reach a crook at the end of the J-tracks 154. Once this terminal position is reached, the lens assembly 142, and visor 104 as a whole, can be slid back to an engaged position as respective apertures 156 formed through the lens mechanism 142 inside the crook of the J-tracks 154 allows the pins 160 to slide horizontally therethrough, thereby effectively locking the levers 148 in place (Figure 8D).

[0075] With reference now to Figures 9 to 12B, an alternative IPD adjustment mechanism will be described. In this embodiment, an HMS 202 is again provided with an IPD adjustment mechanism such that an IPD adjustment can be executed by the user before mounting the visor (not shown). In this example, the HMS IPD mechanism includes a set of inwardly tapered peg-receiving target channels 260 that can be positioned, as above, using a corresponding IPD adjustment tool or the like, so to represent an IPD of the user. [0076] A corresponding visor lens adjustment mechanism 242 can then engage the HMS IPD mechanism to automatically adjust a distance between left and right eye lens mounts 246 to align with the user's eyes and corresponding IPD. In this particular example, the lens mounts 246 are formed in respective laterally sliding carriages 248 mounted on horizontal slide bar 250. Respective IPD adjustment engagement pegs 270 extend from the carriages to engage the tapered channels 260, which will guide these pegs along their tapered edges and correspondingly laterally translate the carriages 248 into proper alignment.

[0077] In particular, the mechanism 242 includes two alignment pins 272 that engage corresponding alignment channels 274 as the mechanism 242 (and visor) are slid back into a lowered engaged position. Once engaged, the pins 272 will guide the lowered visor to the engaged position as the IPD adjustment pegs 270 engage the IPD adjustment channels 260 to align the lens mounts 246 according to the preset IPD setting.

[0078] As will be appreciated by the skilled artisan, other IPD adjustment mechanisms may be considered without departing from the general scope and nature of the present disclosure. For example, while IPD adjustment tools were described to provide for preset adjustment of the user's IPD setting on the HMS, itself transferable to the visor's optical IPD adjustment, other methods may involve a manual setting of the HMS IPD mechanism, for example via a visually accessible integrated HMS IPD adjustment setting that can be set by the user and confirmed once the visor is mounted. Micro IPD adjustments may also be available once the visor is mounted to the HMS, for example, so to allow a user to micro tune the HMD in use. In yet other embodiments, as exemplified below with reference to Figure 23, 24A and 24B, an IPD calibration rig may be provided for operative coupling to the HMS to allow users to predefine an IPD setting that can be later mirrored on a corresponding visor adjustment setting without automatic transference of such setting between the HMS and visor.

[0079] While the above and below consider various IPD adjustment mechanisms that can be manually or automatically transferred from an HMS to a corresponding visor, other optical adjustments may be considered to improve a user experience and/or accelerate user integration. For example, a common or respective focal distance may be manually, physically or electronically adjusted in the visor between the user's eyes and the visor's displays screen, for example, by adjusting an axial position (as opposed to a relative lateral position for IPD) of the visor options (e.g. lens). Again, the preferred or optimal lens position setting may be previously determined using a calibration rig or the like, and automatically mechanically and/or electronically transferred to, or manually mirrored on the visor. Alternatively, a preset user setting may stored in a user profile and communicated to, or retrieved by, the visor for automatic adjustment upon the user initiating their experience.

[0080] Furthermore, while the above and below focus predominantly on the preset of a user's IPD preference, the embodiments described herein may further extend to other adjustments and HMD position optimizations. For example, using a IPD or other calibration rig or adjustment mechanism, the user may further confirm or adjust a proper positioning and orientation of the HMD, namely by allowing users to adjust the HMS on their head to optimize optical alignments by virtue of not only IPD optimization but also, or alternatively, to adjust a roll (lateral angular orientation of the HMS over the user's head, i.e. generally to be centered between the user's ears), pitch (longitudinal angular orientation of the HMS over the user's head, i.e. generally to vertically align the HMD / calibration eyepieces with the user's eyes), and yaw (horizontal angular orientation of the HMS around the user's head, i.e. generally to horizontally align the HMD /calibration eyepieces with the user's eyes). Accordingly, the provision of a calibration rig, and/or of one or more visually perceptible HMS calibration cues or devices, may allow the user to fully preset the ultimately HMD position, orientation and eyepiece calibration before installing the actual visor on the HMS. In doing so, not only does the IPD adjustment gain from a preset calibration, but also, an optimized HMD position and orientation can be preset rather than to otherwise generally rely on the user's intuition to self-calibrate how the MD is worn.

[0081] With reference now to Figures 18 to 24, an alternate HMD 800 having an adjustable HMS 802 and removable visor 804 will now be described, in accordance with another embodiment. The HMD 800, as above, is again generally reconfigurable for multiple users, having one or more user-specific adjustments to improve comfort and/or the user experience by better matching the user's head size, shape and/or eyes, such as the user's inter pupillary distance (IPD) or focal distance.

[0082] In this particular embodiment, the visor 804 is again mounted to pivot and slide relative the HMS 802 by virtue of a mounting mechanism, generally shown by numeral 806, thereby allowing the user to be exposed to (Figure 20A) or substantially visually unobstructed by (Figure 20B) the visor's mounted display. With particular reference to Figures 21 and 22, the mounting mechanism generally consists of opposed snap-fit wedges 808 mounted to slide longitudinally in a corresponding tracks 810 formed on either side of the visor 804, and pivot relative thereto. These snap-fit wedges 808, when aligned with corresponding slots 812 formed on either side of the FDVIS 802, can be slid and snap-fit into position to secure the visor 804 to the FDVIS 802. Once snapped into place, the sliding and pivoting engagement of the wedges 808 to their corresponding tracks 810 allow for the visor 804 to slide and pivot relative to the FDVIS 802, as noted above.

[0083] With particular reference to Figure 22, parallel front-projecting arms 814 are also provided on the FDVIS 802 to guide positioning and alignment of the visor 804 in its various positions. For example, each arm 814 includes an indentation 816 formed at a distal end thereof to allow a corresponding internal structure (not shown) of the visor to rest therein when the visor is in a raised and extended position (Figure 20B). When lowered and pulled back into an engaged position, another internal structure of the visor (not shown) can be selectively positioned along a discrete set of indentations 818 formed along each arm 814 so to adjust a distance of the visor's internal optics and display to the user's eye's and/or glasses (if applicable). [0084] As will be appreciated by the skilled artisan, other visor positioning and alignment mechanisms may be considered to provide a similar effect. For example, while the above-described embodiment contemplates a pivot and slide engagement, other engagements may rather include a direct vertical installation of the visor to the harness, followed by a horizontal adjustment of the visor relative to the user's face, for instance, via corresponding adjustment rails and/or slides. Other installation and adjustment mechanisms may also be considered, without departing from the general scope and nature of the present disclosure.

[0085] As above, the HMS 802 further comprises on or more head-fitting adjustments disposed so to adjust a fit of the HMS 802 to the user prior to the visor 804 being mounted thereon. For example, the FDVIS 804 comprises forehead-abutting pads 820, a head-volume adjustable top pad 822, and an adjustable harness 824, together reconfigurable to accommodate various head sizes and shapes. For instance, the top pad 822 can be lowered or raised by selectively coupling opposed distal snap-fit nubs 826 thereof with a set of discrete sizing holes 828 formed along either side of the HMS's upper frame. Likewise, the harness 824 includes a pair of upward extending straps 830 each having a snap-fit nub 832 formed at a distal end thereof to selectively couple with a corresponding set of discrete sizing holes 834 formed one either side of a downward extending harness shell structure 836, thus allowing a lower harness hub 838 (i.e. see Figure 19) to be raised or lowered to rest against the back of the user's head. The harness hub 838 further includes a discrete sizing dial 840 that can be used to provide finer adjustments to the harness's fit on the user's head once the straps have been appropriately sized.

[0086] Using this design, each FDVIS 802 in a particular kit or system can be preconfigured for a particular coarse head size and shape (e.g. X-Large, Large, Medium, Small, child, etc.), whereas the dial 840 can be used to provide fine adjustments once an appropriate FDVIS size has been selected.

[0087] As will be appreciated by the skilled artisan, other head-fitting adjustments may be considered without departing from the general context and nature of the present disclosure.

[0088] As above, the visor 804 will again generally include a digital display mounted via an appropriate display mounting system and hardware (not shown) in the visor's front end. The digital display is again operatively coupled to a VR feed (i.e. wired or wireless feed), which will generally include respective right eye and left eye feeds displayed on respective digital displays (e.g. LCD) screens, or juxtaposed on a same screen. In the illustrated embodiment, most of the image processing is executed on and by the HMD 800 by appropriate hardware in the backside module 842 of the visor 804. A wired and/or wireless communication interface will also be provided to receive VR feeds from a VR system processor, for example. [0089] An adjustable lens mechanism (not shown) having right and left eye lenses is also operatively mounted within the visor's front end so to at least partially govern viewing optics for each of the user's eyes. In the illustrated embodiment, the adjustable lens mechanism provides an adjustable IPD mechanism by which an IPD of a given user may be accounted for in delivering an improved visual and immersive VR experience. For example, by adjusting a distance between the lenses to correspond with a distance between the user's pupils, a better viewing and immersive experience can be provided.

[0090] In the illustrated embodiment, the lens mechanism is operated by an adjustment dial 844 on either side of the visor 804 that can be dialled in or out to adjust a relative distance between the lens. In order to select an appropriate IPD setting, and with particular reference to Figures 23 and 24A and B, a calibration jig 846 is provided that can be mounted to the HMS's respective positioning arms 814 to allow the user to preselect an appropriate IPD setting, as well as test out an appropriate longitudinal position to be selected for the visor once mounted. [0091] The calibration jig 846 in this example includes a pair of laterally-adjustable visual targets consisting of respective radiating groove pattern disks 850 longitudinally aligned and laterally displaceable in concert with corresponding radiating printed pattern disks 852 such that, upon adjusting a relative distance between the disk pairs to correspond with an IPD of the user, accurate visibility of the printed patterns through the radiating grooves will be improved. Other optical structures or components visible by the user during adjustments may also be considered, as will be appreciated by the skilled artisan. Much like the visor's IPD adjustment dial 844, the jig 846 includes a corresponding dial 854 set such that an IPD dial setting on the jig will correspond with a same IPD dial setting on the visor. Accordingly, a user can identify an appropriate IPD dial setting on the jib 846 (and longitudinal setting along the arms 814, as appropriate, via click-tabbed channels 856), and manually set the visor accordingly to ensure appropriate IPD setting.

[0092] As noted above, while the jig provides for an accurate IPD adjustment setting to be transferred to the VRD in use, the jig also provides the added benefit of having user's refine the positioning of the HMS itself on their head. Namely, alignment of the IPD mechanism will also naturally invoke the user to adjust a roll, pitch and/or yaw of the HMS relative to their eyes so to optimize optical alignment. This optimisation will naturally translate to the VRD once mounted. [0093] Furthermore, while the VRD and calibration rig described above contemplate the use of a screw type lateral adjustment mechanism and setting, other adjustment mechanisms and settings may also be considered, such as that shown in Figure 25. For example, the embodiment of Figure 25 contemplates a reciprocal lateral slide or ratcheting mechanism 902 whereby a lateral displacement of a corresponding manual slide actuator 904 is configured to impart a corresponding lateral displacement to one of the eyepieces 906, while also imparting an equal but opposed lateral displacement to the other eyepiece 908 via an intermediating gear 910, as both eyepieces respectively slide along a common lateral rail 912 in opposite directions. Other mechanisms, be they manually or electronically actuated, may also be considered, as will be readily apparent to the skilled artisan.

[0094] As will be appreciated by the skilled artisan, the advantages and features of the above-described embodiments are not limited to a particular VR HMD application and environment, but rather, may extend to various VR HMD applications and environments to provide greater user comfort, fit and VR experiences, and in some respect, increase versatility in providing a mechanism for allowing a rapid succession of users to share a single visor without loss of user-specificity as it relates to comfort, fit and experience, and without invoking the traditionally lengthy user fitting process applicable with conventional systems.

[0095] The following provides one possible implementation of the HMD embodiments described above, in which each HMD can be used as a wireless HMD in the context of an arena-type interactive VR application in which different wireless HMD users may interact with each other and possibly with various tracked objects and/or props contained within the VR arena an immersed within the VR application. [0096] With reference now to Figure 13, and in accordance with one embodiment, a video rendering pipeline and system 300 will now be described in the context of a particular implementation of a wireless HMD, as shown for example in Figure 1. In this example, the system 300 includes a VR gaming computer or network 302 operable to process and execute the VR environment while processing and immersing tracked immersants and/or objects therein, and interactions therebetween, to be rendered as a wireless VR feed for immersive visualization by each wireless system user. In one particular embodiment, the computer 302 will render a rotated 1080p image in which the pixels are organized in a 1080x1920 image. A pixel shader process executed on the computer 302 reformats the pixels into a 1920x1080 image by concatenating and then wrapping each 1080 row of pixels into a series of 1920 pixel rows. This has the effect of jumbling the image. The video signal, now a 1080p landscape, is sent to a wireless High- Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) transmitter 304 that transmits the wireless feed into the area for reception by respective HMDs operating therein.

[0097] In the illustrated embodiment, each HMD will include a wireless HDMI receiver 306 to receive the transmitted wireless VR feed and transmit it to an onboard simulation reformatter 308 (e.g. a Serious Simulations™ reformatter) that unpacks the concatenated pixels back into 1080x1920 resolution images and send this on to a video driver 310 with minimal latency. The video driver 310 then reformats the HDMI signal (e.g. into Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI)) for visualization on the screen 312 as left eye (A) and right eye (B) renderings.

[0098] Figure 14 provides an exemplary schematic of onboard hardware interconnections involved in the implementation of an HDM within the context of the system 300 of Figure 13. As referenced above, each HDM hardware architecture 400 will include a wireless HDMI receiver 406, a reformatter 408, and a video driver such as an LCD driver 410, each configured to sequentially process and relay the VR feed over HDMI, with the latter reformatting the HDMI feed into an MIPI feed amenable for visualization on the 1080x1920 LCD 412. [0099] Given the wireless nature of the HMD architecture 400, a set of batteries (e.g. 3.7V) 414 are also included to power the HMD. A battery charger is also included; in this case a 3.7V battery charger is chargeable via an external USB port 418 and regulator 420 (e.g. 5V to 3.7V). A set of infrared LEDs 422 are also included in this architecture for VR HMD tracking (e.g. HMD position, orientation), though other tracking mechanisms may also be considered, as will be appreciated by the skilled artisan, without departing from the general scope and nature of the present disclosure.

[00100] In the context of the HMD design shown in Figure 1, the disposition of hardware may be balanced between the front and back portions of the visor. For example, the various video rendering electronics may be operatively mounted within the front end of the visor along with the LCD display, whereas batteries, charger, regulator and USB ports may be located at the back of the visor, thus providing a more balanced load to the user and, in some respects, providing greater counterbalance for the pivot mounting of the visor and HMS. The person of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that other system architectures and configurations may also be considered, without departing from the general scope and nature of the present disclosure.

[00101] In one embodiment, a VR system comprising a set of HMDs as described above may allow up to four people, in one exemplary implementation, to wear wireless VR HMDs while being accurately tracked and immersed within the context of a particular VR environment or arena. The wireless VR HMD system considered herein thus allows up to four immersants (people immersed in VR) to concurrently share a virtual experience in the same space (Arena) at the same time. Given the interchangeable and pre-configurable nature of the HMDs design described above, a sequence of users may be efficiently integrated into the arena without significant down times or delays. For instance, a single visor may be shared through a sequence of users and their respective HMS, the latter pre-configured to the user for fit and optical alignment as they wait their turn, so that they can immediately don the visor when their turn is up and move into the virtual experience (gaming, professional training, entertainment, consumer product review, sales/marketing, touring a VR travel and/or real estate feed, etc.). When the user is done, the user can quickly exit the VR environment by lifting the visor and passing it on to the next user who is at the ready with their pre-configured HMS. This configuration can thus optimize immersing flow and reduce down times, for example.

[00102] In one exemplary implementation, a shopping mall could set up a system as described above in the mall atrium to attract customers. The system could be open to the public, allowing customers to queue up to enjoy a 5-minute VR experience, for example, without undue delay between sequential immersant integrations. For example, as each user approaches the front of the line, they are approached by an attendant who hands them an HMS with an HDM configuration tool (e.g. inoperable visor) already attached. The user then adjusts the various HMD head fit and/or IPD adjustments to their particular liking and/or needs, and then removes the configuration tool to don appropriate tracking plates, if applicable of the VR experience at hand. As the previous set of immersants leave the experience, their wireless VR visors are transferred to the next group who are about to enter who can then simply walk into the Arena, lower the visor down and begin their experience with no additional fit or configuration necessary. [00103] To execute this system, the arena would generally include 2 or more tracking pylons with a PC and software operable to execute motion tracking computations and relay immersive wireless VR feeds across the area to the respective users. Generally, the system would include 1 to 4 HMDs (or more), each with appropriate processing and wireless communication hardware integrated therein to receive and process the transmitted VR feeds for visualization.

[00104] Optional tracking plates to attach to hands, forearms, ankles and hips, may also be included, as can optional tracking props such as weapons, tools, etc.

[00105] A cleaning and charging station would also be included, for example, to periodically recharge the HMDs and perform routine cleaning of the forehead and head- abutting pads, and the like, or again, to clean and cycle through a set of removable pads and the like. For example, as described above, the immersing' s head will generally only be touched in a few places by the HMS, e.g. via touch points/pads that can be easily adjusted for maximum comfort. These touch pads, in one embodiment, are made of a flexible plastic that is easy to sanitize and yet comfortable. In some embodiments, the touch pads are easily replaced and may be offer in a selection of different pads for different applications, e.g. large surface area "grip" pads for active gaming environments, soft pads for gentle experiences such as product pre-visualization, etc.

[00106] With reference now to Figures 15 to 17, and in accordance with one embodiment, expanded VR systems involving a set of wireless HMDs as considered herein, will now be described. In each of these examples, a set of VR HMDs is provided to immerse respective users into a shared VR environment. As described above, each HMD will include a wireless HDMI or like receiver to receive and process an immersive wireless VR feed via onboard video imaging resources. Each VR HMD will also include a wired connection interface so to selectively connect the HMD to a wired VR feed. In one embodiment, the HMD will automatically toggle from a wireless VR feed to a wired VR feed upon the user connecting the HMD to a given wired VR feed source, and vice- versa. For instance, an operative switch may be integrated within the HMD to detect connection of the wired connection interface to an appropriate wired VR feed source, and automatically switch a video processing stream to process the wired VR feed, and then back to a wireless VR feed upon the wired connection being broken. Accordingly, a user may migrate between wireless and wired feeds to participate in an expanded VR experience, that in some respects, may allow immersion of a greater number of immersants given the possible limitations applicable to the implementation of multiple wireless VR connections. The HMD may also or alternatively include a switch or toggle allowing the user to selectively manually toggle between wired and wireless feeds, for example.

[00107] In the example of Figure 15, a hybrid VR system 500 includes a number of wired VR immersants 502 wired into a common or respective wired VR feed(s) provided through respective wired connection interfaces on their seats. Concurrently, selected wireless immersants 504 may operate their HMDs in wireless mode and partake in a wireless VR experience with the rest of the wired immersants watching and potentially interacting on the sidelines. In this modality, a single motion tracking volume can accommodate a mix of tethered and untethered immersants. As there can generally only be a finite number of wirelessly operated HMDs at any one time, the immersants can time share the available wireless capabilities by managing which immersants have access to a wireless "channel". This can be built in to the experience itself, or by means of a voluntary queuing system or the like.

[00108] Figures 16A and 16B provide another example in which a particular VR experience may include both transport (16A) and transition segments (16B) in which immersants are either wired into a wired VR feed (602) or permitted to migrate to a different segment of the experience based on a wireless feed (604).

[00109] The above example if expanded upon in the illustrative embodiment of Figure 17, in which a multi-stage VR environment 700 includes a series of VR stages sequenced, for example, to allow user's to experience a particular storyline sequence, or multi- locational VR experience, in a fully immersive and continuous application. The system 700 may again concurrently support both wired-in immersants 702 (e.g. experiencing a joint transport or vehicular VR experience, an audience-based VR experience, or the like) and wireless immersants 704, each migrating in and out of different VR stages, rooms and/or situations throughout the course of an integrated immersive user experience. In doing so, the system 700 not only allows users to partake in different types of VR experiences within the context of a unified environment, but also help manage the availability of wireless feeds, which may be limited to a particular number of concurrent users depending on available wireless network, tracking and processing capacity.

[00110] The systems, as described above, allow groups of people to be immersed in a multi-stage VR experience where, after an initial one-time configuration stage and donning stage, subsequent stages can alternate between a tethered experience and a mixed tethered/untethered experience.

[00111] The configuration stage allows the immersants to don the head frame with an attached IPD calibration apparatus. This apparatus allows the immersant to adjust the angle and fit of the head frame as well as adjust the distance between VR optics to match their individual inter-pupillary distance. Once these adjustments have been completed the calibration apparatus can be removed leaving the head mount correctly oriented and configured. [00112] The donning phase simply requires the immersant to attach the visor to the head frame and slide it back toward their face to a comfortable distance. The immersant is then ready to enter the next phase of the experience.

[00113] In one embodiment, the tethered stage allows the people immersants to be physically moved between one motion capture space and another. When the immersants enter this stage, they may be seated or standing in a confined space on some form of platform, chair or multi-axis motion simulator, for example. This confined space is on a moveable base, which may have its own motion tracking system that travels with it.

[00114] At the end of this stage, the tether attached to each visor is removed without interrupting the immersant' s experience as the wireless VR feed automatically kicks in as they step in the next stage of their experience.

[00115] Once the immersants have left the tethered stage and are clear of the carriage, it can be retracted and prepared for the next group.

[00116] Accordingly, groups of immersants can travel through an unlimited sequence of motion-tracked environments. Thus each motion-tracked volume can be in operation simultaneously allowing immersants to be streamed through a complex multistage experience in small groups.

[00117] With reference to Figure 26 to 28, exemplary VRD feed selection processes amenable to the above-described hybrid implementations will now be described, in accordance with one embodiment. In Figure 26, a start-up flow is first illustrated in which the HMD (or VRD thereof) is powered on at 1002. The HMD's onboard processor first determines at 1004 if a wired VR source is connected to the VRD, for example, whether an HDMI or like cable is currently connected to an HDMI or like hot plug. Where a wired HDMI connection is detected at 1004, the HMD will initialize the wired HDMI connection at 1006, wait for a vertical sync from the display at 1008 and from the source at 1010, to then display the image from the wired HDMI source at 1012, thus entering the "wired mode" at 1014, as illustrated at Figure 27. [00118] If, at decision point 1004 a wired HDMI connection is not detected, the processor will proceed to evaluate whether a wireless (e.g. Wi-Fi) HDMI or like channel is available at 1016, for example, from a locally implemented wireless HDMI subsystem. For example, the wireless HDMI subsystem may include a wireless radio that continuously transmit an availability signal that can be captured by a corresponding wireless receiver on the HMD so to initiate a wireless connection upon request. Alternatively, an onboard HMD radio may transmit a probe request to interrogate nearby wireless transmitters to determine the availability of any such transmitter, from which a subsequent wireless connection request may be initialized. In any event, upon automatically determining the availability of a local wireless connection at 1016, the HMD can request establishment of a wireless HDMI connection at 1018. If unsuccessful at 1020, the HMD will report the unavailability of any HDMI signal at that time at 1022 and repeat the cycle from 1004.

[00119] Otherwise, the HMD will initialize a wireless HDMI connection at 1024, wait for a vertical sync from the display at 1026 and from the source at 1028, to then display the image from the wireless HDMI source at 1030, thus entering the "wireless mode" at 1032, as illustrated at Figure 28.

[00120] With particular reference to Figure 27, while operating in a wired mode 1102, the HMD processor will routinely evaluate whether a wired HDMI connection is still active at 1104, i.e. whether the onboard HDMI hot plug still registers a cable connection. Where a hot plug connection is lost, a "no signal" report is provided at 1106 and the HMD is returned to the start up mode at 1108, as described above with reference to Figure 26.

[00121] While the wired HDMI hot plug continues to report a connection at 1104, the processor will routinely assess whether a "switch to wireless" request has been received at 1110. For example, a mode switch request may come form a manual switch integrated within the HMD and operable by the user to actively switch between feeds. A wireless switch request may otherwise be dispatched by a VR system operator for example, where a controlled experience prescribes a switch to maintain or evolve a particular VR scenario. Either way, upon receipt of a mode switch request at 1110, the HMD will evaluate whether a wireless HDMI connection is available at 1112, for example as described above with reference to process step 1016. If not available, the HMD will continue to display a wired HDMI feed at 1114. Otherwise, the onboard processor will request and evaluate the successful establishment of a wireless HDMI connection at 1116 and 1118, much as described above with reference to start up process steps 1018 and 1020, respectively. If unsuccessful, again, the HMD will proceed with the wired HDMI source feed at 1114. Once a wireless connection is successfully requested at 1118, the HMD will initialize the wireless HDMI connection at 1120, wait for a vertical sync from the display at 1122 and from the source 1124, to then display the wireless HDMI source images at 1126, thus entering the wireless mode at 1128, as described below with reference to Figure 28.

[00122] With particular reference to Figure 28, while operating in a wireless mode 1202, the HMD processor will routinely evaluate whether a wireless HDMI connection is still active at 1204. Where the wireless connection has been lost, a "no signal" report is provided at 1206 and the HMD is returned to the start up mode at 1208, as described above with reference to Figure 26.

[00123] While the wireless connection is reportedly maintained at 1204, the processor will routinely assess whether a "switch to wired" request has been received at 1210. For example, a mode switch request may come form a manual switch integrated within the HMD and operable by the user to actively switch between feeds. A wired feed switch request may otherwise be dispatched by a VR system operator for example, where a controlled experience prescribes a switch to maintain or evolve a particular VR scenario. Either way, upon receipt of a mode switch request at 1210, the HMD will evaluate whether a wired HDMI connection has been made at 1212, i.e. whether the HDMI hot plug reports a cable connection. If not wired in, the HMD will continue to display the available wireless HDMI feed at 1214.

[00124] If a wired connection is detected at 1212, the HMD will initialize the wired HDMI connection at 1216, wait for a vertical sync from the display at 1218 and from the source at 1220, before releasing the wireless HDMI connection at 1222 to instead display the wired HDMI source feed at 1224, thus entering the wired mode at 1226, as described above with reference to Figure 27.

[00125] While the above provides some exemplary processing flows for establishing and switching between wired and wireless feeds, other flows may also be considered without departing from the general scope and nature of the present disclosure.

[00126] While the present disclosure describes various embodiments for illustrative purposes, such description is not intended to be limited to such embodiments. On the contrary, the applicant's teachings described and illustrated herein encompass various alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, without departing from the embodiments, the general scope of which is defined in the appended claims. Except to the extent necessary or inherent in the processes themselves, no particular order to steps or stages of methods or processes described in this disclosure is intended or implied. In many cases the order of process steps may be varied without changing the purpose, effect, or import of the methods described.

[00127] Information as herein shown and described in detail is fully capable of attaining the above-described object of the present disclosure, the presently preferred embodiment of the present disclosure, and is, thus, representative of the subject matter which is broadly contemplated by the present disclosure. The scope of the present disclosure fully encompasses other embodiments which may become apparent to those skilled in the art, and is to be limited, accordingly, by nothing other than the appended claims, wherein any reference to an element being made in the singular is not intended to mean "one and only one" unless explicitly so stated, but rather "one or more." All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described preferred embodiment and additional embodiments as regarded by those of ordinary skill in the art are hereby expressly incorporated by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, no requirement exists for a system or method to address each and every problem sought to be resolved by the present disclosure, for such to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims. However, that various changes and modifications in form, material, work-piece, and fabrication material detail may be made, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure, as set forth in the appended claims, as may be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, are also encompassed by the disclosure.