Microsoft files fresh patent application relating to VR 360 video

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The United States Patent & Trademark Office on July 11th, published a patent application of Microsoft that relates to displaying a post-roll when 360 video ends. The title of this patent application is “360-degree video post-roll.”

The 360 video is played on a Virtual Reality Headset which may be in the form of either wearable glasses or goggles.

Microsoft observes that the number of transitions between virtual environments while using a 360 video application may be large. The tech giant also observes that the transition experience may be jarring due to the increased immersion provided by 360 video.

Microsoft tries to solve this problem by displaying a post-roll when the first 360-degree video ends.

Microsoft notes in its filing that, “360-degree video offers immersive video experiences for virtual reality (VR) system users. However, due to the increased immersion provided by the 360-degree video format, transitions between virtual environments that may occur when using a 360-degree video application program may be jarring for users.

Individual 360-degree videos are often short, and users may often watch several 360-degree videos consecutively. In existing 360-degree video application programs, the user returns to a home virtual environment at the end of each video. The number of transitions in a single viewing session may therefore be large.”

According to one aspect of Microsoft’s invention, a head-mounted display device is provided, comprising a display, one or more input devices, and a processor.

The processor may be configured to display a first 360-degree video on the display in a three-dimensional playback environment. The processor may be further configured to display a post-roll on the display when the first 360 video ends, wherein the post-roll is displayed in the three-dimensional playback environment and includes one or more interactable icons.

The processor may be further configured to detect a selection of an interactable icon of the one or more interactable icons via the one or more input devices. The processor may be further configured to, in response to detecting the selection, perform a video environment navigation action. 

Microsoft’s figure 1 shows an example head-mounted display device.

Microsoft’s figure 3 shows an example three-dimensional playback environment including a post-roll.

In the example of Microsoft’s figure 3, the post-roll includes interactable icons displayed as previews #42, #44, #46, #48, #50, and #52 of additional 360-degree videos. The previews may be displayed as videos or still images.

In addition, each preview may be displayed with one or more associated interactable icons in the form of buttons. The preview #42 of the first additional 360-degree video is displayed with a “Launch App” button #42A, a “Buy Video” button #42B, a “Visit Website” button #42C in an upper portion of the preview.

The preview #44 of the second additional 360-degree video is displayed with a “Launch App” button #44A and a “Visit Website” button #44B in a lower portion of the preview. The preview #46 of the third additional 360-degree video is displayed with a “Launch App” button #46A and a “Visit Website” button #46B in an upper portion of the preview.

The preview #48 of the fourth additional 360-degree video is displayed with only a “Buy Video” button #48A in an upper portion of the preview. The preview #50 of the fifth additional 360-degree video is displayed with a “Launch App” button #50A and a “Buy Video” button #50B in a lower portion of the preview.

The preview #52 of the sixth additional 360-degree video is displayed without associated interactable icons. 

Microsoft’s figure 6 shows a post-roll that is relocated in response to a position sensor input. 

This patent application which was published on July 11th was initially filed in January 2018.

The application names seven inventors – Aaron Monson, Jae Chul Bae, Emmanuel Bertrand, Eliezer Menachem Payzer, Pedro Javier Ramirez, Daniel Thomas Corrigan and Colin Randall Moll.

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