Texas Patent of the Month – January 2022

Blue Goji, LLC is a wellness tech startup focused on using fitness gamification to improve the health of their users. The company has worked with doctors, scientists, and innovators to incorporate virtual reality (VR) and gaming technology into fitness-oriented disease management platforms. By making cardio more fun, user’s are more likely to get back on the bicycle or treadmill and build consistent, healthy habits. 

Recently, the company has expanded their system to include a body joystick to interact with VR environments. This tool uses a support arm to hold a device that attaches the joystick to the user’s body, a sensor to detect movement, and an actuator to provide feedback to the user. For instance, the user could be using an exercise machine like a stationary bike or the company’s Infinity Treadmill with a VR headset. A body tracking protocol is then used to evaluate the user’s posture, movement, and positioning. The movement can then implement controls in the VR game.

If the user is on an exercise machine, playing a VR skiing game, the user’s movement is tracked. The game can evaluate the user’s posture and technique and suggest modifications or use it to guide the game. For example, the user could lean to the side to avoid VR trees or turn down the slope. By using Blue Goji’s body joystick, this body tracking is improved. While we might picture a joystick as the usual handheld stick, the joystick in this innovation has been designed a little differently. Instead, the design looks like a vest which has been set up with pistons which achieve the required full-body tracking. It can be modified as needed, adding in sleeves for arm movement or modifying fabric flexibility depending on the application. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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