U.S. Patent No. 10,463,962: Spectator view perspectives in VR environments

Issued November 5, 2019 to Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Priority Date: March 18, 2016


U.S. Patent No. 10,463,962 (the ’962 Patent) relates to outside spectators viewing the virtual reality (“VR”) environment of a player wearing a head-mounted display (“HMD”). In some embodiments, the ’962 Patent details a method allowing a spectator to view a player’s VR environment from predetermined locations, a location of the spectator’s choosing, or a location determined by the gaze of the player wearing the HMD. A spectator may be allowed to move closer or farther away from a location, which results in the content of the VR environment up-scaling or down-scaling that portion accordingly. A corresponding listening zone may accompany a viewing location that provides audio to the spectator as if they were in that location. 

A method, system, computer readable media and cloud systems are provided for generating views of a virtual reality environment for a spectator. One example method includes enabling a spectator to view into a virtual reality environment, and control what specific content within the environment the spectator wishes to see. By allowing the spectator to move closer or further away from specific content, the spectators movement toward or away will cause an automatic scaling of content within the virtual-reality content being generated by an HMD player, that is sharing the content with the spectator. Other features include allowing a spectator to adjust the viewing angle of the content. The viewing angle of the content can be moved by allowing the spectator to reach into the content or control the content scene, and then position the content in the viewing angle that is most comfortable to the position of the spectator.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method for processing virtual reality content for interaction by players and viewing spectators, comprising, receiving, at a server, interaction data for a head mounted display (HMD) player wearing an HMD, the HMD player is configured to navigate a virtual reality environment, and the virtual reality environment is provided by the server as a virtual reality stream that includes an HMD player view; receiving, at the server, a request via a device of a spectator to view the virtual reality stream via an HMD of the spectator; sending, by the server, the virtual reality stream to the device of the spectator to provide an HMD spectator view into the virtual reality environment that enables viewing of a same view or distinct views of the HMD player view; receiving, by the server, position information of the HMD of the spectator; and processing, by the server, a magnification of a portion of the virtual reality environment when the position indicates that the HMD of the spectator has moved closer to content in the virtual reality environment; and a de-magnification of the portion of the virtual reality environment when the position indicates that the HMD of the spectator has moved away from content in the virtual reality environment.

U.S. Patent No. 10,610,779: Methods and systems for scheduling game play of a video game
U.S. Patent No. 10,387,973: Trending stories in game activity feeds