Washington Patent of the Month – February 2021
Augmented Reality (AR) offers a way to augment a real-world environment with computer generated content. Valve Corp. decided to combine the wonders of AR with video games, layering AR content on top of the existing video game content. They’re hoping this advancement could bring a multiplayer aspect to previously single player games
The design suggests a method to enhance the user’s experience within the game world, rather than within the real world and would be applicable across any game. If individual game developers were to integrate AR into their games, AR would likely not be compatible across systems and games. Using Valve’s AR system would allow for use on any game or system as it overlays the existing game content. A remote computing system would act as a warehouse storing AR content and making it accessible to anyone who would like to use it. This method would also let people design their own AR which could be saved to the remote computing system. The AR content may be static or dynamic, and could be interactive using plugins. The content would be made available through an application via streaming or downloading and running simultaneously with the video game. With this new component, video game worlds would be opened to endless possibilities.
Valve is a developer of games, Steam, and hardware. They make consumer electronic devices that improve gaming on the PC and incorporate VR technologies. Just as in software development, Valve conducts playtests and shares prototypes with their partners and players. They follow the results of this work all the way through the manufacturing process to create products people are sure to enjoy.
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