The US Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Sony revealing a new universal design for 3D glasses that could work with Sony's Bravia 3D HDTV line up or other brands such as Panasonic, Toshiba, LG and others. The technology will work with spectacles or even a 3D gaming helmet. The timing to market for these next generation Head Mounted systems with their easy to use pluggable modules is unknown at this time. If we're lucky, we just might catch a glimpse of some of their patent pending technology showing up at either their upcoming special event in February or at the E3 Expo held in June. Time will tell.
Sony's 3D Gaming Helmet
Jumping right into the heart of the patent, Sony's patent FIG. 3 shown below illustrates a helmet with active shutter lenses and multiple embedded receivers. Helmet 322 may be sold with race car, fighter pilot, or other theme video games that are 3-D enabled. The helmet includes multiple receivers 306 embedded in its shell or frame. In some embodiments, the receivers can be directly mounted to visor flip down portion 328, which includes goggle lenses 324 (left) and 326 (right). Likewise, memory 330, which can store the selection of the receiver and/or logic circuit, can be directly attached to flip down portion or to frame.
Sony's Universal 3D Prince-Nez, Spectacles, Contact Lenses & More
In Sony's patent FIG. 4 noted above, we're able to see minimalist pince-nez styled glasses with active shutter lenses 424 and 426 and multiple receivers 406. In the exemplary embodiment, multiple IR receivers are mounted on bridge piece 434 of pince-nez 432.
Spectacles, pince-nez, monocles, binoculars, contact lenses, and other means for a wearer to don a lens or lenses in front of his or her eyes are contemplated. Lenses may wrap around the sides of a user's face or be minimalist, mounted just in front of the user's eyes.
In respect to contact lenses, Sony didn't elaborate on this in their current patent application but did so thoroughly back in November 2012. To review Sony's thinking of computerized contact lenses, see our report tilted "Sony Invents Eye Tracking Contact Lenses for Next-Gen Games."
In Sony's patent FIG. 5 noted above, we're able to see a front view of 3-D glasses having closely spaced multiple embedded receivers corresponding to an embodiment. Multiple circular IR receivers 506 are stacked closely together to conserve space on glasses frames 512 as well as to aid in manufacturing.
Because universal remote controls for televisions use devices that purposely emit radiation (i.e., transmitters), there can be limits to how close the devices may be put together with each other before suffering electromagnetic interference (EMI). In the exemplary embodiment, each of the IR receivers passively receives and does not transmit. Electromagnetic interference between the devices can be less than that of equivalently powered transmitters. Because there is minimal electromagnetic interference, the IR receivers can be closely stacked together.
Removable, Swappable Receivers
In Sony's patent FIG. 6 shown below we see 3-D glasses with a removable, swappable receiver being inserted into a form-fitting recess. The IR receiver (# 636) is housed in the removable housing (#638) with the electrical connector (#640). The electrical connector plugs into the electrical receptacle (#642) on frame of the glasses. A U-shaped recess around the electrical receptacle intimately form fits with the removable housing and may include protrusions and recesses to better secure the receiver to the glasses. The connector may be removable from the receptacle or may be a one-time, snap in fit.
When plugged in, receiver 636 connects with a driver onboard the glasses for lenses 624 and 626. IR or RF wireless signals received by the receiver synchronize the lenses to the transmitting 3-D television.
Sony's patent FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate removable receiver module. Receiver 736 in module 738 plugs into receptacle 742 on the front of glasses. Form factors for removable modules can vary from a proprietary design of the connectors to a standardized design. Examples of such designs include a miniSD card and Sony Memory Sticks. Various locations and modes for attachment of the receiver to the glasses are readily apparent to one skilled in the art.
And Finally, In Sony's patent FIG. 8 noted above we see 3-D glasses with a kit of removable, swappable receiver modules. Each receiver 838a-e corresponds to a different brand and/or model of television as shown.
Sony's patent application was originally filed in the US in Q3 2010 under serial number 637799.
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