Rather than capturing a world in which to transport the user, sensors could alternatively be used to capture the physical world where the user is currently experiencing VR. This allows obstacles in the matched zone to be rendered in the virtual world, which might be useful for safety or to improve interactivity. For safety, the boundaries of the matched zone could be rendered to indicate that the user is about to reach the limit. Hazards such as a hot cup of coffee or a pet walking across the matched zone could be indicated. Interactivity can be improved by bringing fixed objects from the physical world into the virtual world. For example, if the user is sitting in front of a desk, then the desk can be drawn in the virtual world. If she touches the virtual desk, she will feel the real desk pushing back. This is a relatively easy way to provide touch feedback in VR.
Steven M LaValle 2016-12-31