Invented by Marcus Kuehne, Audi AG
The Audi AG invention works as followsA method for operating a mobile virtual-reality system in a vehicle” The method involves displaying a virtual motor car, detecting the position of virtual glasses placed in the vehicle (in particular, virtual glasses worn by the user), and then operating the virtual glasses so that they display this configured virtual motor from a virtual viewing angle that corresponds with the detected position. The pair of virtuality glasses is included in a mobile virtual reality system.
Background for Method of operating a mobile VR system in a vehicle and mobile VR system
The invention is a method of operating a mobile VR system in a vehicle, and a mobile VR system.
Virtual reality glasses, also known as head-mounted displays (HMDs), are becoming more popular in the computer gaming industry. Virtual reality glasses are an advanced form of head-mounted display, a term for a visual display device worn on the skull. The glasses project images onto the retina or display images on a screen near the eyes. Virtual reality glasses also have sensors that detect head movements. The glasses can be adjusted to display the graphics in accordance with the wearer’s movements. Due to the proximity of the head, the image area of head-mounted screens appears larger than freestanding screens. In extreme cases, the display can even cover the whole field of vision. The display follows the wearer’s head movements by using the posture of their head.
Virtual reality glasses are able to be used as a representation of a virtual world, since virtual reality is a computer-generated virtual environment which allows the simultaneous perception and representation of physical properties of reality.
Virtual reality systems, including virtual reality glasses, could be used to present different products in the future. This would include the sales process.
One possible object would be to develop a method of operating a mobile VR system in a vehicle and to create a mobile VR system that can be used for a realistic presentation of the motor vehicle.
The inventor proposes an operating method for a mobile virtual-reality system in a vehicle. A virtual motor vehicle configuration is provided by the method. The position of a virtual reality glass set up in the motor car, and in particular, a virtual reality eyeglasses that an individual has worn, is detected. Virtual reality glasses are controlled to display the configured virtual vehicle in a virtual viewing location that corresponds with the detected position of virtual reality glass in the motor car.
The term “mobile” is used to describe a system that can be operated without the need for electrical power. In connection with the virtual-reality system, it is meant to be understood that all elements of the system are easily portable and can be operated without electrical power sources. Virtual reality systems are mobile-friendly, which is a big advantage. It can be a huge value-add, particularly in the automobile industry, when a salesperson drives a test car to a potential or prospective customer, and then, by using the method proposed, allows the customer to see a virtual representation of the configuration they require. The customer can sit in the car, feel the materials, choose the interior and optional equipment he wants, and even touch some of the actual motor vehicle’s elements, such as the steering wheel and controls. The method proposed creates an immersive and authentic experience with the added benefit that it is not necessary to know in advance what configuration the customer wants.
In an advantageous embodiment, the motor car belongs to the same model family as the configured virtual vehicle. The real motor vehicle will have the same dimensions of the virtual motor vehicle. It means that the virtual motor vehicles can be displayed using virtual reality glasses without the need to perform a complicated conversion, as the virtual dimensions are the same or, at least, the proportions match. As close as possible to the actual vehicle, with all the accessories available. “The real vehicle contains all possible switches and buttons associated with the various optional equipment.
In a second advantageous embodiment, the virtual reality glasses display a configuration menu that can be used to modify the configuration of the motor vehicle. The configuration menu can provide a potential buyer with the ability to select or deselect specific items of optional equipment, for example during a virtual product presentation. A salesperson who, for instance, is sitting with a potential customer inside the motor vehicle can also display the configuration menu using a laptop or tablet computer. This allows the salesperson to make different configuration suggestions. “The provided configuration of the motor vehicle virtual can be easily adapted.
Virtual reality glasses can display certain elements of the vehicle, which have been modified using the configuration menu. If the mobile virtual system has a data processing device that is capable of this, it can be done in real-time. The virtual reality glasses, for example, can be used by the customer to modify the infotainment system in the virtual vehicle or decorative shades. This can be done substantially instantly. The customer can then get closer and closer to the desired configuration of his motor vehicle. It is possible for the salesperson to make configuration suggestions, which are then displayed by the virtual reality glass.
Accordingly, a further advantageous embodiment is that the virtual reality sunglasses are operated so that they display a configured virtual motor car from a virtual point of view that corresponds with a detected angle of view of the virtuality glasses in the actual motor vehicle or to a detected eye direction of the user. Wearers of virtual reality glasses are able to easily adjust their angle of view on the displayed virtual vehicle by moving their head left and right, or up and down. The virtual reality glasses may also include an eye-tracking system that detects the gaze direction of the wearer. The virtual angle from which the motor vehicle is displayed at the moment can be adjusted according to the detected gaze direction. The user can therefore intuitively control exactly what he wants to look at from the displayed virtual vehicle.
According to another advantageous embodiment, the virtual reality glasses display a virtual motor vehicle that displays a change in a motor vehicle’s visual indicator caused by a motor vehicle control. A data processing system of the virtuality system, for example, can be connected to a motor vehicle via a data connection, so that the data processing unit is notified of changes in visual indicators caused by the operation of various controls on the motor vehicle. The device can then use the information to control virtual reality glasses so that they can simulate the changes in visual indicators associated with the current control operations. The virtual reality system may also detect, for instance, a camera system that can detect control operations by the wearer of the virtuality glasses or other vehicle occupants. The virtual reality system can also detect real controls, their effects on visual indicators in a real motor vehicle and transmit them to the virtual glasses so that they represent the visual changes in the interior of the vehicle. The virtual vehicle interior can be experienced in a way that is both immersive and authentic.
The proposed mobile virtual-reality system consists of a pair virtual-reality glasses and a device that detects the position of these glasses inside a vehicle. The virtual reality system also comprises a data-processing device that is configured to display a virtual motor car from a virtual viewing angle that corresponds with the detected position of virtual reality glasses within the motor vehicle. The proposed method’s advantageous embodiments shall be considered as the mobile virtuality system’s advantageous embodiments, since the mobile virtuality system performs the method.
A detailed description of the preferred embodiments will be given, with examples illustrated in the drawings that accompany this document, where like reference numbers refer to similar elements.
FIG. In a schematic diagram, FIG. 1 depicts a mobile virtual-reality system that is denoted by 10. The virtual reality system 10 consists of a pair virtual reality glasses 12 as well as a detection device 14, and a data processor 16. Data processing device 16 has a data connection to motor vehicle 18.
The detection device 14 detects the position of virtual reality glasses 12 inside a vehicle. The detection device 14 can also detect the orientation in which the virtual reality glass 12 is positioned within the motor vehicle. The optical detection system can, for example, be used to detect the position and orientation of the virtuality glasses 12. It can be provided that the virtuality glasses 12 are equipped with infrared leds, and that the detection device includes suitable receiving devices which can determine the position, and if applicable also the orientation, of the virtuality glasses 12.
The virtual reality glasses 12 also include sensors, namely acceleration sensors that can be used to detect their spatial orientation.
The data processing device 16 can be used as a tablet or notebook computer, which can be easily carried and operated for long periods without external power. The data processing device is designed to display a configured virtual motor vehicle in a virtual viewing location that corresponds with the position detected by the virtual reality glass 12 within the motor vehicle 18.
FIG. The side view of FIG. 2 shows the interior 20 of a motor vehicle 18. As can be seen in the picture, a driver 22 has sat down on the seat of the motor car 18 and put on virtual reality glasses 12. The salesperson (not seen here) could have, for example, made an appointment to meet the user 22 after asking in advance what model range the user was interested in. Salespersons drive the motor vehicle 18, from the model range corresponding to the user 22, to the user 22, in order to show the motor vehicle 18. The user 22 could, for example, have already configured a virtual vehicle before the meeting with a salesperson. This would be available to the salesperson as well as to the data processing system 16. It is the aim of the user 22 that the virtual reality glasses 12 can be used to display the interior of the motor vehicle 20 in accordance with the configuration required by the user.
FIG. The virtual interior of the preconfigured motor vehicle 24 (not shown in more detail) is shown on the virtual reality glasses 12 as well. Here, the data processing device 16 provides the configuration of the virtual vehicle 24. The virtual reality glasses 12 are positioned in the actual motor vehicle. The interior of the vehicle 20 is continuously detected. In this case, the data processing device 16 controls the virtual-reality glasses 12 so that they display a configured motor vehicle 24 at a virtual viewing point 26 that corresponds with the detected position of virtual reality glass 12 in the actual motor vehicle.
In the present case, virtual reality glasses 12 show the user 22 from the driver’s position the virtual cockpit of the motor vehicle 24. The actual motor vehicle brought by the salesperson is preferably from the same model family as the virtual motor vehicle configured 24. The user 22 may now look closely at the preconfigured vehicle 24, e.g. from the driver seat, using the virtual representation. Virtual reality glasses 12 can be operated in this way so that the preconfigured virtual motor vehicle 24 is displayed from an angle that corresponds with the detected orientation of virtual reality glass 12 within the motor vehicle or to the gaze direction of user 22.Click here to view the patent on Google Patents.