Posts Tagged: "virtual reality"

Protecting Intellectual Property in Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (“AR”), along with Virtual Reality (“VR”), is rapidly growing in prominence and will be transformative to the way we live, work, learn and play. Both AR and VR will undoubtedly bring a whole set of novel IP issues for individuals, companies, IP practitioners and the courts. Like any new technological area, such as cyber law for the nascent internet technology in the early 1990s, many legal issues need to be addressed and many more are yet to be discovered as this area evolves.  

A Look at Google’s Patent Applications for Light Field Technology

Google’s U.S. patent application 20190124318—originally assigned to Lytro, an American developer of light-field cameras, before it went defunct in March 2018—was published in April 2019. Google is actively working on concepts constructing Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) and has spun out products like Daydream, ARCore, Cardboard, Jump, Tilt Brush and Blocks, all of which benefit from light field technology. CNET reported last year that a number of Lytro employees were heading to Google after Lytro folded, and that Google would likely acquire some Lytro patents as a result. Global market research and management consultation company, Global Market Insights, reports that the light field market will grow to $1.5 billion by 2024, rising from $650 million in 2017. The 2017 figures point to media and entertainment industries like gaming, theaters and amusement parks, making up 25% of the overall industry shares. The adoption of the technology in cameras is predicted to drive this growth.

Copyright and Fair Use in the Age of YouTube

The opinion acknowledges, in a footnote on page 3, that videos of the type that the Klein’s created, is not unique. Instead, it is part of a growing genre of “reaction videos” in which portions of an original video are interspersed with commentary to create a new creative work… Luckily for the Kleins, their fans were ready and willing to create a legal fund for their use. YouTube has also taken action to protect some content creators subject to false DMCA notices. However, with over 800 unique users, and over 100 hours of new videos being uploaded every minute, clearly YouTube cannot be required to protect all of its content creators from false copyright infringement allegations. In light of this decision, perhaps we are approaching a time where reconsideration, and revision, of the DMCA, is warranted.

Microsoft HoloLens: Will Gamble on Holographic Technology Pay?

Microsoft enters the marketplace with its futuristic mixed reality headset — HoloLens — which on a first glance looks like a Gadget straight out of a Bond movie. When most tech companies are focusing on developing a Virtual reality headset, Microsoft plans development of its augmented reality headset with holographic technology. Microsoft foresees future in controlling computing devices with different user interfaces such as gesture, eyes gaze, and voice. Letting the user bridge the screen and physical space and extend the reality around them is Microsoft’s answer to several business insufficiencies.

The Intersection of Fashion, Virtual Reality and the Law

Virtual reality and augmented reality are catching on, and the fashion industry has taken notice. Many of today’s fashion brands are seeing their work being used in this disruptive technology. But, this has caused trademark issues for both fashion companies that want to protect their brands and fashion technology companies that want to bring those brands into the virtual reality world. Moira Lion and Jeff Greene, with the Intellectual Property Group at Fenwick & West, recently sat down with IPWatchdog to discuss how to approach VR innovations as they develop brand protection.

A Loss of Confidence in the Patent System

I have come to the dejected realization that our patent system does little to protect anyone who does not have millions in the bank to defend their invention… So why would someone now choose to publicly disclose their invention if the likelihood of being awarded a patent is decreasing and the potential costs are increasing? In this inventor’s eyes, they won’t and I won’t, at least not without a lot of money set aside as a defense fund. That is why my decision today is difficult and why I have chosen to write about this. I have believed in our patent system, as my father did and grandfather does, but I cannot overcome the concern that given the current landscape, I am better keeping my knowledge in my head rather than sharing it with the world.

Facebook, IV and Nintendo lead in VR headset patents ahead of Google, Sony and Intel

Although the patent space surrounding VR headsets still looks very open, it’s interesting to note that Nintendo has an early lead over other top tech firms which have reportedly been working on their own virtual reality technologies. Fourth place in the VR headset space is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) which owns nine IP assets in the sector. This total seems low given Microsoft’s work on developing its HoloLens mixed reality platform. Trailing closely behind in fifth place is Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with seven IP assets in the sector. Again, given research and development conducted by Alphabet’s Google subsidiary for its Google Glass head-mounted device, it’s interesting to see that the company hasn’t invested heavily in the virtual reality headset space. Following further behind in seventh place is Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE). Tied in eleventh place are Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) of Santa Clara, CA, and the Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) of Burbank, CA.

The Four Biggest Tech Trends of 2016

Recently, we took a closer look at four of the largest trending stories playing out in the world of intellectual property and patents during 2016. Today we turn to the world of technology to see what trends have been developing in the technology sector over the past year. From an ever-widening scope of business activities being pursued by Silicon Valley’s largest firms to growing government authority over one sector of Internet services, there have been plenty of interesting stories playing out on the stage of America’s tech sector.

America’s Big 5 tech companies increase patent filings, Microsoft holds lead in AI technologies

In terms of sheer numbers, in the CB Insights study, which curiously did not include patent giant and American research juggernaut IBM, Microsoft ranks supreme among this collection of five major tech firms. The Redmond, WA-based hardware and software developer has applied for a total of 16,840 patents over the seven years of the study. In second place is Google with 14,596 patent applications over the same time period. Although exact numbers for the other three firms weren’t publicly released by CB Insights, these two firms are followed by Apple (13,420 patent applications), Amazon (5,186) and Facebook (2,508), respectively. Collectively, these five companies have been pushing towards a total of 10,000 patent applications filed per year. This trend marks a sharp rise in patent application filing activities among the Big 5, which filed 3,565 patent applications collectively in 2009.

Qualcomm unveils virtual reality headset platform powered by Snapdragon 820

Not only do virtual reality devices sometime present too much information to users, they do a poor job of prioritizing the space available in augmented reality (AR) environments to portray advertisements on empty real-world surfaces, for example. Qualcomm seeks to avoid this by using the technology protected by U.S. Patent No. 9317972, entitled User Interface for Augmented Reality Enabled Device. The patent discloses a method of displaying augmented reality contents which involves receiving a camera scan of an environment in view of a user, assigning surface priority and surface trackability levels for each surface in the environment, assigning content priority levels for augmented reality contents and displaying augmented reality contents on real-world surfaces based on the assigned surface priority, surface trackability and content priority levels. The system could determine whether a user was at work, home, a business meeting or a social event in order to determine the priority of augmented reality content to be displayed.

NVIDIA’s Ansel Offers In-Game Photo Mode for Parkour Adventures Game

Ansel is currently only available for a parkour adventure game called Mirror’s Edge Catalyst sold on Origin. It is supported by PCs, provided the computer has an Nvidia card, and more games supporting Ansel are likely in the making. The company, best known for its graphics cards, announced the GTX 1080 earlier this year. This card has twice the frame buffer and a quarter more memory speed than its predecessor, the GTX 980. The memory interface with this card is 256-bit and it supports virtual reality (VR) platforms. This means that PC headset can be used for 360-degree pictures. Nvidia has also put out the GTX 1060, a more mid-priced item, but still packing a lot of punch. This model actually triples the frame buffer rate of its last model, the GTX 960. Its memory speed is only 2 gigabytes per second less than the GTX 1080, and the GTX 1060 is also compatible with PC headsets. At a price tag of $300 rather than $700 for the GTX 1080, it’s a good choice for low-end gaming platforms.

Technology Startups: The Game-changers of Virtual and Augmented Reality

With the advent of enhancements in audio-video technology, Virtual-Reality (VR) has taken the world by storm. While VR has been enjoying most of the limelight, another similar technology – Augmented Reality (AR) is catching up fast. The patent landscape of VR is dominated by Sony followed by IBM, Samsung and Microsoft when it comes to total number of patented inventions. Microsoft is the leader in AR when it comes to the number of inventions filed as patents. It has 602 issued patents and published applications distributed among 151 inventions. Microsoft is followed by Samsung, Sony, LG and Qualcomm.

Oculus Rift Patents that change the Virtual Reality Landscape

Of the virtual reality options currently on the market, the Oculus Rift is arguably built upon one of the most technologically robust VR platforms. Capturing the movements of a person wearing the Oculus Rift headset is a sensor which tracks infrared LED constellations projected onto a user. Each Oculus Rift unit comes with the IR LED sensor, a mounting stand, and a cable to connect the sensor to a personal computer for processing resources. Users can also use an Oculus Rift remote or a compatible remote controller, such as an Xbox game controller, to input commands and interact with the virtual world.

Zuckerberg unveils 10-year plan for video, VR and global Internet connectivity at F8 conference

A keynote speech delivered on the first day of F8 by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg along with other company executives laid out a 10 year road map for the company. ”We stand for connecting every person for a global community, for bringing people together, for giving all people a voice, for the free flow of ideas and culture across nations,” Zuckerberg said. He supported this with soundbites he has repeated in the past, including the four billion people around the world without any Internet access. Striking some chords of global economic goodwill, he then stated that for every 10 people who gain access to the Internet, one person is lifted out of poverty.

Microsoft’s new holoportation system brings virtual reality to new social, enterprise platforms

Fans of the Star Wars movie franchise might remember Princess Leia’s desperate plea for help to Obi-Wan Kenobi via hologram in Episode IV. Microsoft’s holoportation system goes a step beyond that by offering real-time interaction between remote participants, although a headset is needed to fully participate. The three-dimensional content feed is created by putting a person in a space with a multi-camera array which records video of a participant from multiple angles. Those different angles are spliced together to create a holographic version of a person moving through space and viewable through a headset.