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As long as we played with the joystick there was no problem, maybe only some drop fanta’s glasses because (inexplicably) to let Mario Bros jump we used to lift up the controller with the hope to make a higher jump. Then we passed to the Wii and the risk to throw around some piece of furniture became reality. You prepare yourself for the warrior position of yoga and the wedding gift of aunt Maria is shattered. With the virtual reality goes even wrong, you have a viewer on the eyes and focused on the game you don’t remember anymore not even your name. For this reason Microsoft invented the carpet for the virtual reality, let’s find out what it is.
A carpet for the virtual reality
A simple but genial idea: Microsoft considered the problem to play in not really appropriate environments to freely move (like in the children rooms and in the living rooms fitted with furnitures) and it tried to find a solution. It was so born the idea of this carpet, which is equipped with sensors integrated inside it which are able to communicate with the game system. These sensors map the movements of the players in the space delimited by the carpet and they establish the position.
The game software detects these informations and, in real time, it checks and creates the game environment so that the virtual world is inside the limits of the carpet. In this way every movements will be inside the safe area of the carpet. We don’t risk anymore to break something, or worst, to hurt ourselves by hitting furnitures and tables.
To make the purchase of this carpet for the virtual reality even more interesting, Microsoft is trying to enrich the experience of the player thanks to the sensorial feedback. For this reason they are assuming the introduction of the sensors for the vibrations, but there isn’t any confirm about it.
A patented idea
What we can see instead from the documents of the patent it’s the wish to make the carpet a further device and it isn’t a simple protection device.
Infact in the text we can read “In few examples the device might take the shape of a game console and the viewer as well as the other control devices might be the devices of this console”. This means that for some games or environments we will be able to walk or to move on the carpet, or to jump on it, to interact with the virtual world.
The idea of the carpet doesn’t seem totally risky. Infact many users equipped themselves with normal carpets right to keep a contact with the reality and to understand where they are looking at inside their home. The carpet for the virtual reality will be so an evolution of this traditional method.
If you are wondering how big it will be, maybe because your own house is small, you should know that Microsoft thought to everything. Infact the carpet might be realized expandable. So if one has a lot of space will by more than a carpet to put one next the other to expande the game area, but who has just a few space will anyway enjoy the experience even if it’s a reduced version.
For the moment it is though only an idea, the device was patented, but there isn’t a date yet or the timing about its production.
A last note: in the image released it’s possible to see an accessory which remembers the Kinect which now retired for some years. Even in this case there aren’t news about a possible return of it, even if the images let us hope about it.
This post is also available in: Italiano