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US Patent Application: US 20130196757 A1

TITLE: Multiplayer Gaming with Head-Mounted Display

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] A method of inviting other playes to join you in a multiplayer game on head-mounted display (e.g. Google Glass).

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to the Jan 30, 2012.

"Inviting users to multiplayer games with head-mounted display” from Microsoft

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A method for inviting a potential player to participate in a multiplayer game with a user, the multiplayer game displayed by a display of a user head-mounted display device, comprising:

  1. receiving user voice data from the user;

  2. determining that the user voice data is an invitation to participate in the multiplayer game;

  3. receiving eye-tracking information, depth information, facial recognition information, potential player head-mounted display device information, and/or potential player voice data;

  4. associating the invitation with the potential player using the eye-tracking information, the depth information, the facial recognition information, the potential player head-mounted display device information, and/or the potential player voice data;

  5. matching a potential player account with the potential player;

  6. receiving an acceptance response from the potential player; and

  7. joining the potential player account with a user account associated with the user in participating in the multiplayer game.

In English this means:

A method for inviting a potential player to participate in a multiplayer game which is displayed on a head-mounted display (e.g. two users using Google Glass):

  1. First user invites a second user to a multiplayer game with his voice

  2. Recognizing the second player using face recognition, voice, device information, etc.

  3. Matching a player account with the second user

  4. Receiving an acceptance to play from the second user; and

  5. Letting the two accounts participate in the multiplayer game together

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2 Answers 2

This might have been anticipated by https://www.google.com/patents/WO2010141870A1 "3d video processor integrated with head mounted display" :

"ABSTRACT A 3-D stereo video device that includes a headset housing that incorporates a 3-D video processor chip, video display driver circuitry, micro-displays and optics such that the only required external component is a joystick or other user input device. By utilizing a direct digital video interface between the video processor chip and the video driver chip, the need for video signal encoder/decoders, digital to analog converters, video up-converters and other similar complicated circuitry to handle remotely generated analog video signals are eliminated. The design not only saves cost but also allows for a higher resolution, higher frame-rate video presentations than previous designs."

from the BACKGROUND:

"Head-mounted displays are sometimes used in products such as electronic games. For example, a game known as i-Combat™ from a company called Radica Games and a product such as the Virtual Boy™ from Nintendo date from the mid- 1990's time-frame. These games used low quality displays of varying types implemented, for example, with Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology and an oscillating mirror system to present the image. These devices also had various types of connected controllers and game cartridge interfaces."

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America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch) from 2007 with TrackIR headset support and voice activation control (VAC) provides at least a partial match. According to this 2007 review: http://www.ausgamers.com/files/details/html/30505

Voice Activation Control VAC enables players to use the America's Army voice recognitions system to issue commo commands and initiate actions. Now players have the ability to speak the radio command they want rather than cycling through menus. You can also map any key to a voice command to customize your AA experience.

...

TrackIR Headset Support Support for the TrackIR Virtual Reality Headset has been improved. Players with this hardware can now use the system in the HMMWV for enhanced gameplay. (TrackIR hardware required.)

A complete listing of command mappings for VAC is here:
http://archive.forum.americasarmy.com/viewtopic.php?t=263918
It includes the command Choose Team:

<P PROPNAME="SELECTTEAM">Choose Team</P> 

This suggests that VAC combined with the headset could be used to choose a team member, thereby inviting them to the game, which matches the patent claim. Further input from someone familiar with the game and these accessories would be needed.

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