Sneakers, Google’s new patent for virtual reality

Google has filed a patent for a product specifically for virtual reality.

The idea is for shoes that, if they are developed, would be specifically designed to move in virtual environments.

This footwear would have sensors to detect movement and have it transferred to the virtual reality application. In addition, it would have a traction system to counteract the user’s displacement.

Although it poses some drawbacks, should it end up being developed, this device could be a great solution to the Achilles heel of VR development: motion recognition.

The operation of these “virtual reality shoes” is quite simple and intuitive.



Essentially it would be a kind of skates that, connected to a virtual reality simulator, would allow the user to move freely through the simulated environment, without actually moving in their physical environment.

This would be achieved by adding some type of motorized traction system (such as single wheels, omnidirectional wheels, or even crawler wheels) to the footwear,

to move in the opposite direction of our steps to cancel the amount of movement.

The traction system would only be activated when our feet leave a previously defined limit in the physical environment where the user is located.

Thus, we could move in a seemingly infinite way in quite small spaces. This patent, registered under the name “Augmented and/or Virtual Reality Footwear” could be the best solution to the main problem currently facing virtual reality companies.

And the fact is that scrolling in these environments is not yet fully optimized.



Some users may become dizzy when using virtual reality goggles.

The main advantage of these “skates” is that they would allow for dizziness-free movement through virtual reality environments. In addition, this device would eliminate the need for large amounts of available space.

In today’s market, there are already certain devices that enable motion in VR environments without motion sickness. Virtual reality motion platforms are a very interesting option to enjoy highly immersive applications. And although they are a great opportunity for events and companies, for private use they require an investment of money and (above all) space that is not suitable for everyone.

For this reason, if Google finally launches the development of this device, it could mean a before and after in the consumption of virtual reality by the general public.

Although sneakers have great potential for the development of virtual reality, the truth is that they also have certain drawbacks.

The main and most obvious one, which is still a patent.

Therefore, it is likely that this device will require a fairly high development and fine-tuning period before it is ready for commercialization.

From a functional point of view, the Mountain View giant’s developers will have to work hard to make the shoe easy to use and comfortable.

Especially when it comes to maintaining balance while using it, since unlike the aforementioned virtual reality platforms, a priori they will not have a safety harness.



Google and AR, a long-standing relationship.

The filing of this patent is further evidence of Google’s interest in continuing to explore the field of virtual reality and augmented reality.

And is that after the painful setback they took with Google Glasses, Mountain View are still committed to developing tools in this sector.

Whether or not the project comes to fruition, Silicon Valley giants showing interest in virtual reality is always good news for VR companies, agencies and consumers alike.

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