Apple’s VR headset could literally make VR bullies disappear, preventing conflicts from escalating and protecting users in shared spaces.
Apple is already thinking about how to deal with internet bullies and trolls in the metaverse for its possible future VR headset. It’s bad enough for someone to behave aggressively on social media, and it could get worse in VR unless steps are taken to allow a way to block or silence a bully.
Apple has expressed great interest in augmented reality (AR), which is closely related to VR. The iPhone and iPad include an AR app called Measure, which uses the rear camera allowing the user to select objects and points in space to measure three-dimensional distances. Apple Maps also provides AR directions when walking, and that’s just the start. Apple’s VR headset, which could appear as early as 2022, could be the first step towards Apple AR glasses.
A recent Apple patent application appeared on the US Patent and Trademark Office website, revealing how Apple’s VR headset could solve the problem of internet bullies causing pain in a shared virtual space. . Apple’s patent document describes different criteria for automating what it calls attenuation of another person’s avatar, in effect lowering their volume and / or making them disappear, with the worst offenders disappearing altogether. . One of the possible triggers would be based on proximity. If someone gets too close for comfort, their avatar will start to disappear. The levels of trust between each user can affect what constitutes too much proximity. Another example Apple gave was VR graffiti and the potential for the virtual spray and artist avatar to disappear if that is seen as a violation of proper social interaction in that space. Getting close is necessary during a virtual boxing match and would not cause fading, so it depends on the context.
Apple can provide VR emergency doors
Apple notes that this security system is not intended to suppress freedoms of expression. If implemented, these controls can include enable and disable settings to control automatic support by the system. Since auto fade could be turned off, another approach could allow the VR headset user to leave a shared virtual environment that is uncomfortable for some reason via an escape gesture that creates a door, not visible to them. other avatars. This could allow for quick exit, rather than forcing the user to walk different paths just to be followed to another room.
Since Apple’s VR headset can incorporate trust levels, it allows trusted friends and family to come closer or even follow each other so that it becomes easier to interact. whenever you want. Apple also notes that each user can see the interaction in a modified state. For example, getting too close can trigger discoloration for one user but not for another. The distance can be adjusted for some users to indicate that there is no conflict. However, moderators might be allowed to view the scene without any adjustments, intervening only when needed.
This well-thought-out plan shows how seriously Apple takes its AR and VR research, and all of the above could be implemented in future AR headsets as well. A virtual internet bully who annoys users of Apple AR glasses or VR headsets could literally disappear from sight without the need to take action and avoid conflict.
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