New Hampshire Patent of the Month – February 2022

Punching bags have been upgraded as technology advances. These newer bags use sensors and systems to track strikes and offer advice on how to improve. Other systems have incorporated virtual reality (VR) to build a simulation around you to practice in. These VR systems lack one key element -spatial awareness. The user does not get to practice their craft while also improving in spatially locating or interacting with real objects. LiteBoxer Technologies, Inc. has combined VR with other technologies to improve this simulated training experience.

Their VR system provides an interactive training experience wherein the user wears a head-mounted display and holds or wears controllers. Their system differs from others by mapping the positions of real-world objects into the simulated environment. Other systems simply implement a boundary that the user is meant to stay within. 

The user can map these objects using the handheld controller itself. The controller can be worn on the back of the forearm, and includes a camera which captures objects around you. For instance, the camera can be calibrated against a traditional punching bag rather than a VR striking pad, or against a plain wall. The calibration is achieved by having the user don the controller and press their fist against the wall. The spatial sensors then track the movement of the controller/user’s fist in a 1:1 ratio. This allows the VR simulation to properly simulate the object and ensure the user can properly interact with it. The simulation could then depict the object differently. For instance, a punching bag could be simulated as an opponent to further gamify the experience.

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