The Virtua Dome is an idea of creating a perfect solution to modern virtual reality augmentation to give a new experience and how to create and make what I have designed. The Virtua Dome is a future technology that will someday become real.
Disclaimer: I'm just sharing my thoughts and ideas.
Since I haven't had a chance to work on how I should format articles in regards to Idea Creation. This is, or will be experimental for now. If you know or have a suggestion for changes or guidelines I can follow to make my work understandable, then please let me know. I'm not a master or an expert in the subjects are the matter, but I feel like I at least have a decent understanding of some concepts, techniques, and technologies.
Also, I want to make short videos for my articles just to help you and help myself explain and such. Moreso, because writing and typing is more work than actually talking, lol :3
The problem with virtual reality isn't the fact that it's hard to program, but it's about putting the pieces together to be coherent and easily put together. So what I did was did some researching on different types of virtual reality. The most prominent one is the headset type, which is obvious due to companies like HTC, Occulus, Google, and Sony. However, remember that cool VR (virtual reality) demo by IBM? I wonder what happened to that... I guess it wasn't practical, so I tried to design a much more practical approach that utilizes modern technology today. You don't even have to invent anything, just put it together!
The solution is that I had to also figure out a way to choose specific technology and current methods for virtual reality that would make sense. With this design, you also do not need to wear any helmet that puts a screen in your eyes. This solution utilizes sensors for detecting movement in a closed environment.
To discuss my points further, I made a short video below to kind of illustrate this idea creation.
I looked around the internet for some articles and patents related to my idea and I think these kinds of fit well.
Also if you want to patent this work, by extending it, of course, I might patent it. Alternatively, we can work together if you want, but I would find joy in just seeing someone invent it or put something similar to it together. Maybe it's not a viable solution, or maybe there are better ways, but I like this experience of having the user move in real-life because it promotes exercise, instead of using brain-waves, which turns you into a couch potato.
I tried searching for a similar patent, but none were found.
Thinking About The Design:
When I was thinking about the design, I want to make sure that it was modular: meaning you can take it apart easily and if a part broke, easily replace it. I also wanted it to be easy to move so that people can actually just place it anywhere as long as there is a readily available power source.
Let's look at my draft design on paper, and then a simple mock-up I created in modeling software.
In this below image, you will see how I try to also incorporate error within my design.
Now, maybe there is some jargon in the above image, but if you watched the video, hopefully, it made some sense. Ideally, it's more about how the Virtua Dome will function. Now below is the second image for other details of the Virtua Dome.
In the above picture, there are some minor adjustments to when I was creating the simple model in the software. I also labeled more details to see and show just what kind of parts and component can be put together.
Pictures and Simple Mock-Up:
I have created a really basic mock-up of what the shape and how it could look like and you can also look at the blueprint for it. I tried to design it in actual size as well!
Here is a PDF file of the blueprint generated from the 3D model software I used:
Now for the technology, I like open-source so I will try to name some, proprietary software is garbage, and is usually created just to turn a profit. How the image will be displayed is by using Samsungs thin monitors that wrap around in 360, this includes the top portion as well for some sort of skybox feel. Then as a whole world combined, we break those monitors to display sections of the 360 view world that are based off a game in Unity or Unreal Engine 4. On the other hand, maybe LG monitors encapsulate the dome:
In the game, the mappings and inputs will be recorded from sensors that have multi-grid maneuverability which will follow special gloves, socks, hat, and more. The special equipment will have specific colors that must glow in the dark because the sensor will continuously track the specific color and send back values to the program that could utilize Python running OpenCV or something better. These values will be used and put into a matrix that then goes into the game engine, so some sort of connection or middle-software needs to handle that, then the game engine interprets those values and display on the screens as some sort of action, like swinging a sword, or jumping.
Let me outline a simple action like jumping, and let's start from the beginning of sensor detection and tracking. We all know that tracking using color is a cheap way, but we may not have a resource that can track limbs and human body parts accurately yet, so that's why I thought just use colors still. Anyways, the dome opens like a sliding door capsule, the user walks in, and must stand in the center for calibration for two poses; the idol pose and the outstretch pose. This is a must because we will treat those values as the origin to define movements in the code or programming language, and based on the change of the sensor values, we run a specific function that corresponds to some movement. So for jumping, the origin of the feet and such would start at height 0, so if the sensor moves up vertically, then we know that the user jumped, so the in-game character will jump as well. That's a simple way to explain it.
More about value connections from Python to the game-engine, I was thinking maybe a local CSV file with defined row headers which the game-engine can read and parse the values put into it by the Python sensor capturing, and if there is a change in any values detected, the game-engine (C# or whatever) can detect those changes and re-calculate the values.
We then can also collect the data from the user playing in the Virtua Dome and normalize the data and run a statistical analysis to my values for the best fit for any game and define many more functions. Developers will have a fun time creating their own actions based on the change of values of the sensors tracking each limb and such.
Estimated Pricing and Costs:
Alright, so this section is all about the parts and such. Honestly, I would estimate an actual Virtua Dome, if you used decent sensors and such, it could be less than $50,000. The most expensive parts would be the screen and probably the custom-made parts and components for mechanical usage. Well, I don't think it could be six figures cost because much of the software and technology is readily available already, someone just needs to put it together in programming.
Once you make a prototype and a simple game along with it, the possibilities will become endless! I would want IBM to do it since they did have a headstart already, but any company can quickly catch up without having to design proprietary software.
At the moment, I have explained the basis and premise of the idea, but I'll add later if I find more inspiration.
Thanks for reading this article if you made it to the end. You get a free cookie with your favorite candy on it. :)