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USOO5368309A
United States Patent [19]
[11]
[45]
Monroe et a1.
[54] METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR A
VIRTUAL VIDEO GAlVIE
[57]
Calif.
[51]
Int. Cl.5 .............................................. .. A63F 9/22
U.S. C1. .................................. .. 273/437; 273/434;
[58]
Field of Search ..... .. 273/433, 434, 437, DIG. 28,
273/DIG. 28; 345/7; 345/9; 353/30; 359/630
The invention is directed to an interactive video game
whereby players sit opposite each other and view the
game and each other through a semi-transparent image
can be apparently suspended between two players. The
surface on which the image is displayed has suf?cient
transparency to allow each player to see the other
player along with the image. Thus, the players can
630, 629
interact during play allowing for a more enhanced re
ward in the experience. The effect could be further
enhanced by the use of stereo glasses and a stereo-pair
of images on the display such that the players see 3-D
images on the playing “surface.” To further enhance the
interactive experience, the virtual images are substan
tially coincident so that when one player looks up from
Hector ...................... .. 273/DIG. 28
the action in the game to see the opponent, the oppo
nent’s eyes are looking at roughly the same spot in space
273/310, 312, 313, 316, 85 G; 345/1, 4, 7, 8, 9,
37, 38, 87; 353/28, 30, 37; 359/471, 472, 477,
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4/1978
ABSTRACT
Up Displays (HUDs). Using opposing HUDs, an image
May 14, 1993
[52]
4,084,194
Nov. 29, 1994
generated in real-time through the use of a ?rst-surface
re?ection. The present invention uses opposing Heads
[21] Appl. No.: 62,304
[56]
5,368,309
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Hecker & Harriman
[75] Inventors: Marshall Monroe; David Fink, both
of Glendale, Calif.
[73] Assignee: The Walt Disney Company, Burbank,
[22] Filed:
Patent Number:
Date of Patent:
4,189,145 2/ 1980 Stubben et a1.
4,306,76812/1981
4,568,080 2/1986
Eggmg ....... ..
Yokoi ..... ..
4,879,603 11/1989
Berman ...... ..
273/DIG. 28
where the ?rst player perceives the action to be. Thus,
the present invention yields more direct communication
. 358/242
between players, as well as an enhanced experience.
272/8 M
The present invention yields additional applications
4,973,951 11/1990 Shigeta et al. ................ .. 340/717
5,190,286 3/ 1993 Wantanabe et a1. ...... .. 273/DIG. 28
5,221,083 6/1993 Dote ......................... .. 273/DIG. 28
such as where each player sees any number of images
which correspond to the image of the “opponent,” or
“electronic painting” applications. Other games can
4,971,312 11/1990 Weinreich
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
2306737
2212572
take advantage of the fact that the image is superim
posed on the opponent such as trying new facial fea
tures or clothing.
6/1989 Japan .
4/1990 Japan .
Primary Examiner-Jessica .1. Harrison
16 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets
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5,368,309
video game use. The device is for viewing from one side
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR A VIRTUAL
VIDEO GAME
only, or side by side viewing.
A heads up display system with holographic disper
sion correction is described in Hartman, U.S. Pat. No.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to the ?eld of virtual video
games.
5 4,613,200. The invention uses a grating device attached
to a windshield and a second grating device under the
dash. The device appears to be tuned to be optimized
for a driver.
A stereoscopic display that provides alternating left
2. BACKGROUND ART
10 and right images to create the illusion of depth is de
Many existing entertainment or amusement games
scribed in Pund, U.S. Pat. No. 4,649,425. The display is
rely on a conventional CRT display (“television” dis
for viewing from one direction only.
play). A player’s point of view is trained on the televi
A re?ected display is described in Japan 147422 to
sion display. It is dif?cult for a player to divert attention
Kuwayama. One party can simultaneously view display
to anything other than the display unless the diversion 15 information and a party opposite a display screen. Un
requires only a minimal perspective change. For exam
ple, a player would have dif?culty remaining attentive
to a video game display and making eye contact with
another individual unless that individual’s face was in
close proximity to the video display.
Some games provide a multiple player mode. In mul
tiple player mode, players either alternate “turns” in
interacting with the game, or the players sit “side-by
side” and compete against each other, or cooperate
like the present invention, the purpose of Kuwayama is
to prevent the second party from viewing the displayed
information. Such a scheme precludes “see through”
viewing by two opposing viewers.
An illusion apparatus is described in Weinreich, U.S.
Pat. No. 4,971,312. This scheme permits a human
viewer to appear to interact with a display such as a
television or monitor.
A double sided display of dot matrix LED or LCD
against a common opponent. Whether the players are 25 display units is described in Shigeta, U.S. Pat. No.
competing against one another or cooperating against a
4,973,951. The scheme is not related to video displays.
The opposing displays are not see through, but rather
common opponent, it is not possible to see the expres
opaque members are disposed between the displays.
sions on each other’s faces or determine the position of
the other player’s line of sight.
Because the players sit side-by-side when using prior
A heads up display for an automobile or other mov
ing vehicle is described in Roberts, U.S. Pat. No.
players can’t directly experience the reactions of their
5,005,009. The invention is not related to video games.
Yamamura, JP-18588, describes a two direction heads
up display device. Viewers on either side of a glass.
opponents or partners.
panel can see independent images with virtually no
art games, direct human interaction is unavailable.
Thus, conventional video games are lacking in that
For example, Berman, U.S. Pat. No. 4,879,603, pro 35 cross-talk between the images. There is no discussion of
vides a way for adjacent users to view different images
on a heads up display. The system uses circular polar
ization to project multiple images. By using appropriate
?lters (e.g. eyeglasses), each user sees only one of the
projected images.
viewing both displayed images and the opposing viewer
simultaneously, or matching the images to provide coin
cident “points of interes ” of the projected images.
Harris, U.S. Pat. No. 5,115,228, describes a shuttered
display panel that is viewable from the front and the
back simultaneously. A see through display that can be
viewed from both the front and back, e.g. a vacuum
?uorescent display, is provided. When it is desired to
show different images to the front and back users, an
45 image is generated for the front viewer while the rear
acts as a re?ector and transmitter is positioned between
shutters are closed. A second image is generated for the
Ricker, U.S. Pat. No. 4,535,354, provides a method
for projecting a pair of stereoscopic pictures that can be
seen in three dimensions. Two projection images are
projected onto a focusing screen. A beam splitter that
an observer and the focusing screen, or between the
source images and the focusing screen. The system can
be adapted for multiple users if they are located laterally
to each other. There is no discussion of opposing views
in Ricker.
Breslow, U.S. Pat. No. 4,710,873, describes a video
game apparatus for capturing an image of a user, digitiz
ing the image, and incorporating the image into the
rear viewer while the front shutters are closed. A video
game that matches video display with user speech is
described in Edelstein, U.S. Pat. No. 5,149,104.
A method for superimposition of projected and three
dimensional objects is described in Lunde, U.S. Pat. No.
4,738,522. The system provides a method for using a
beam splitter to combine the movement of an actor on a
three dimensional set with a projected image. The beam
video game itself. A camera is included in the cabinetry 55 splitter is provided in front of the three dimensional set.
of the video game and is used for image capture. The
A recorded or live image is projected onto the beam
captured image is displayed on a prior art type video
display.
Rebane, U.S. Pat. No. 3,857,022, provides a system
including a positioning table that provides a signal rep
splitter, forming a combined image. The projected
image appears to interact with the three dimensional set
pieces.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An image can be projected onto the touch screen from
The invention is directed to an interactive video
behind, if the screen is translucent, or from the front, if
game whereby players sit opposite each other and view
the screen is opaque.
the game and each other through a semi-transparent
Yokoi, U.S. Pat. No. 4,589,659, is directed to a liquid 65 image generated in real-time through the use of a ?rst
resentative of the position of a pen touched to a screen.
crystal display that projects an image onto a mirror for
viewing. The scheme permits an LCD display to be
surface re?ection. The present invention uses opposing
Heads-Up Displays (HUDs). A HUD is composed of a
folded to a compact size and is suitable for portable
transparent, partially reflective material (e. g., glass,
3
5,368,309
acrylic (Plexiglas), or polycarbonate (Lexan)). A HUD
The invention is directed to an interactive video
is placed in an angular position and serves as a “beam
game whereby players sit opposite each other and view
splitter” such that the image is, in essence, superim
posed on the objects behind the image. Many types of
interactive experiences are possible with the present
image. The image is generated in real-time through the
the game and each other through a semi-transparent
use of a ?rst-surface re?ection. The present invention
uses opposing Heads-Up Displays (HUDs). Many types
invention including video games and fashion and data
visualizations.
Using opposing HUDs, a virtual image can be appar
ently suspended between two players. The HUD sur
face has suf?cient transparency to allow each player to
see the other player along with the image. Thus, the
players can interact during play allowing for a more
realistic and rewarding experience. The effect could be
of interactive experiences are possible with the present
invention including video games and fashion and data
visualizations.
The present invention allows an image to appear to
be suspended between two players. The HUD has suffi
cient transparency to allow each player to see the other
further enhanced by the use of stereo glasses and a
stereo-pair of images on the display such that the play
5
player along with the image. Thus, the players can
interact during play allowing for a more competitive
and realistic experience.
ers see 3-D images on the playing “surface.”
FIG. 1A illustrates a layout for the present invention
using two players. It should be noted that even though
virtual images are substantially coincident so that when
only two players are illustrated, the present invention
one player looks up from the action in the game to see
can be adapted to accommodate multiple players.
the opponent, the opponent’s eyes are looking at 20
In FIG. 1A, the two players are sitting opposite each
roughly the same spot in space where the first player
other and each is positioned in front of a HUD. A HUD
perceives the action to be. The present invention pro
is composed of a transparent, partially re?ective mate
vides the ability to rotate the images seen by the players
rial (e.g., glass, acrylic (Plexiglas), or polycarbonate
such that the opposing images have the same orienta
(Lexan)). The HUD is placed in an angular position and
tion. Thus the lines of sight for each of the opposing 25 serves as a “beam-splitter” such that the image and
players is the same.
opposing player are composited into one. The image is,
The present invention yields more direct communica
in essence, superimposed on the opponent.
To further enhance the interactive experience, the
The superimposition provided by the present inven
tion between players, as well as an enhanced experi
ence. Other games can take advantage of the fact that
tion yields more direct communication, as well as an
the image is superimposed on the opponent such as 30 enhanced experience. superimposition creates addi
trying new facial features or clothing.
tional applications such as where each player sees any
number of images which correspond to the image of the
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1A illustrates a layout for the present invention
using two players.
“opponen ,” or “electronic painting” applications.
35
FIG. 1B illustrates a setup piece.
FIG. 2A illustrates an image at each stage of progres
sion from its generation to its display on the HUD for
Other games can take advantage of the fact that the
image is superimposed on the opponent such as trying
new facial features or clothing.
The effect of the present invention could be further
enhanced by the use of stereo glasses and a stereo-pair
of images on the display such that the players see 3-D
viewing by a player.
FIG. 2B illustrates the inversion capability of the 40 images on the playing “surface.”
present invention.
Heads-Up Display Position
FIG. 2C illustrates a method of providing the correct
orientation using hardware.
Referring to FIG. 1A, an original image is provided
FIG. 2D illustrates the process for inverting an origi
nal image using software.
FIGS. 3A-3D illustrate four different pairs of result
ing images using the present invention.
FIG. 4 illustrates a technique to optimize the dimen
sions of a HUD and the virtual video imaging of the
present invention.
FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate techniques for inverting
the original image.
by an image source (e.g., video game or animated dis
45
play). The original image is displayed on a monitor
positioned overhead. Even though the monitor is
shown above the HUD in FIG. 1A, it should be noted
that a monitor can be positioned in any location (e.g.,
below the HUD) such that the image can be re?ected
off of the HUD).
To preserve the virtual video effect, the monitors
may be obscured from the direct line of sight of the
players. This can be accomplished by any number of
FIGS. 6A and 6B relate to the shadow effect of ?rst
and second surface re?ections.
devices such as micro-louvers, baffles or polarizers.
FIG. 7 illustrates a table that represents the four pairs 55 Further, the image can be displayed on a monitor with
of resulting images of FIGS. 3A-3D.
a black background, so that the players don’t perceive a
complete, full-?eld virtual image.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
To ensure that the virtual image does not appear
INVENTION
faded or washed out, a dark backdrop of background
A method and apparatus for a virtual video game is 60 can be placed behind each player. This will eliminate
described. In the following description, numerous spe
surrounding light that can fade the virtual image. The
ci?c details are set forth in order to provide a more
thorough description of the present invention. It will be
backdrop can be a dark shade such as black.
The image displayed on the monitor is a re?ected
from the HUD to a player. This display technique is
present invention may be practiced without these spe 65 used for each player. Thus, each player sees the game
cific details. In other instances, well-known features
through their respective HUDs. Each HUD has an
have not been described in detail so as not to obscure
angular orientation relative to the “line-of-sight” of the
the invention.
viewer such that each player can view the displayed
apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the
5
5,368,309
image and an opposing player with virtually no line of
sight modi?cation for either player.
Thus, each
provides a “beam-splitter” capabil
ity to allow a player to see two images composited into
one. The two images are the dimensional (or “re ”) one
of the “opponent” and the “virtual” one of the game
display which is actually a first-surface re?ection of the
monitor overhead.
The virtual image appears to the observing player to
be beyond the HUD. As illustrated in FIG. 1A, player
A sees a virtual image 101A approximately midway
between player A and player B. Player B sees virtual
image 101B approximately midway between the two
players. This is for purposes of example only. The im
ages could be substantially coincident with each other,
but that is not required. If desired, the virtual images
could “appear” much closer to the viewing player or
further away from the viewing player. In fact, the im
(i.e., Base 408), or decrease as it moves away from Base
408.
Thus, given the desired dimension of the virtual
video image (i.e., base 408), the distance of the player
from the virtual image (i.e., vertex), a Display Triangle
is identi?ed. The angular orientation of the HUD (i.e.,
45°) dictates the relative positions of Top and Bottom.
A HUD is drawn within the Display Triangle at a 45°
angle, and Monitor 404 is positioned above the HUD’s
position. This provides the optimal virtual video image
ages could appear to “cross”, as illustrated by virtual
images 101A’ and 101B’. It appears that virtual image
101A’ is “behind” virtual image 101B’. Of course, the
images do not actually cross, but rather the apparent
6
of monitor). Monitor 404 is located above HUD 406 by
projecting Top via Line 400 toward Monitor 404, and
projecting Bottom via Line 402 toward Monitor 404.
Alternate HUD locations 410 illustrate the dimen
sional changes to the HUD as the angular orientation
remains constant and Top and Bottom points are varied
along Side A and Side B, respectively. As can be seen,
the length of the HUD will increase as the HUD’s posi
tion moves closer to the base of the Display Triangle
20
for the present invention.
Second Surface Re?ection
Preferably, a re?ected image should appear as illus
Further, the virtual image appears to the observing
trated in FIG. 6A. However, re?ective surfaces (e.g.,
player to be suspended in space. To reinforce a player’s 25 HUD) can produce a shadow effect that is caused by
notion that the image is suspended in space, setup pieces
the re?ection from a ?rst surface (e.g., front side) and a
can be positioned within the plane of view. These setup
second surface (e. g., back side). FIG. 6B illustrates the
pieces can extend from a surface (e.g., table) via a sup
shadow effect caused by the re?ections from the front
porting element. The support structure of a setup piece
and back surfaces. The present invention provides the
will therefore be in contrast with the perceived lack of
ability to minimize the shadow effect by placing a de
support for the HUD image. This will further support a
gree of coating on the front and back surfaces. This
player’s notion that the HUD image is suspended in
anti-re?ection feature of the present invention is op
space.
tional, and augments the virtual video imaging provided
spatial location of the image changes.
Figure 1B provides an example of a setup piece. The
by the present invention. However, the other features of
set up is comprised of a vertical piece affixed to the 35 the present invention may be used in the absence of the
table and two horizontal pieces curved at both ends.
anti-re?ection feature.
This gives a sense of structure and depth. The set up
In the preferred embodiment of the present invention,
piece can be seen while viewing the virtual images
a coating with approximately an 18-20% re?ectivity is
101A, 101A’, 101B, or 101B’. The vertical piece is at
placed on the front surface of the HUD and a coating
tached to the table surface, and the horizontal pieces are 40 with approximately 1% re?ectivity is used for the back
attached from the vertical rod. Unlike the virtual im
surface of the HUD. This virtually eliminates the shad
ages, the horizontal pieces are not suspended in space.
owing effect in FIG. 6B and results in the re?ection
This further reinforces a player’s perception that the
illustrated in FIG. 6A.
virtual images are suspended in space.
The dimensions of the HUD and location of the mon 45
itor can be determined based on the desired dimension
of the virtual video image, the HUD angular orientation
and the HUD’s distance from the player. FIG. 4 illus
trates a technique that optimizes the dimensions of a
HUD and location of the monitor thereby optimizing
the virtual video effect of the present invention.
Re?ection Process
Referring to FIG. 1A, the HUD re?ects the image
displayed on the Monitor and the image’s re?ection is
viewed by a player. Therefore, the image re?ected onto
the HUD and viewed by a player is the inverse (i.e., the
50 left and right of the image displayed on the monitor. If
the monitor’s image has the same orientation as the
The Display Triangle establishes the framework for
original image (i.e., original image produced by an
determining the HUD’s dimensions and monitor loca
image generator), the image viewed by a player is the
tion. Base 408 of the display triangle is equal to the
inverse of the original image. This process of re?ection
length of the desired virtual video image. The vertex of 55 impacts the graphical, textual, and control elements of
the display triangle represents the position of a player’s
the present invention.
point of view relative to base 408. The sides of the
To further illustrate the re?ection process, FIG. 2A
display triangle (i.e., Side A and Side B) are formed by
depicts an image at each stage of progression from its
generation to the image’s re?ection from the HUD for
connecting each end of the base to the vertex.
HUD 406 is placed somewhere within the display
triangle such that Top (i.e., upper edge of the HUD) is
positioned somewhere along or outside Side A and
Bottom (i.e., bottom edge of the HUD) is positioned
review by a player. Original image 200 is provided by
image generator 202. The image can be comprised of
both graphic and textual symmetrical or asymmetrical
components. FIG. 2A illustrates an asymmetrical
somewhere along or outside Side B. Top and Bottom
graphical component (i.e. arrow) 204, and text 206 (i.e.,
are positioned along Side A and Side B respectively 65 “ARROW”). Arrow 204 points from left to right and
such that the vector formed by Top and Bottom repre
text 206 appears in the lower left corner of the image.
sents the HUD with an angular positioning of forty-?ve
Original image 200 is transmitted to Monitor 210 via
degrees (45 °) relative to the horizontal plane (e. g., plane
line 212. Monitor Image 208, contains arrow 204 and
5,368,309
7
a re?ection of the original image. Player B’s perspective
is illustrated by viewing the Figure from the bottom of
the ?gure toward the top of the ?gure while .player A’s
perspective is from the top down. Looking at the ?gure
text 206 and is identical to Original Image 200. HUD
re?ects the image displayed on Monitor 210. HUD
Image 214 is the image of Original Image 200 seen by a
player. As canbe seen, HUD Image 214 is the inverse of
Original Image 200. HUD Image 214 is a re?ection of
Monitor Image 208. Thus, arrow 220 is the inverse of
from Player B’s perspective, player B’s resulting image
is a re?ection of player B’s Monitor Image. The arrow
in the monitor image is pointing from left to right, how
ever the arrow in the resulting image is pointing from
the HUD, and the inverted arrow 220 points from right
the players’ right to the players’ left. Similarly, the
to left.
10 textual components in the resulting image are the in
arrow 204 and text 222 is the inverse of text 204. The
inverted text 222 appears in the lower right corner of
Since the end result of the re?ection process is the
inverse of the original, the re?ection process effects the
control elements of the present invention. Referring to
FIG. 2A, the HUD Image is an inverse of the Original
verse of the text in the monitor image.
Player A’s perspective can be viewed from the top of
from the joystick.
arrow from the arrow’s head to its base. However, as
can be seen in B’s monitor image, a scan of monitor
the ?gure looking toward the bottom. Like player B,
player A views a resulting image that is the inverse of
Image. Someone viewing the HUD Image will believe
the A’s monitor image. Since the monitor images are the
that a movement from arrow head to the base of the
same as the original image, the resulting images are the
arrow head is a movement from left to right. However,
inverse of the original image. Thus, the textual elements
such a movement is actually a movement from right to
viewed by each player are in inverse order.
left in the original image. Therefore, when the HUD
Further, the graphical elements are in the resulting
Image is the inverse of the original image, the control 20 images are the inverse of the original in, age. For exam
elements of the present invention must compensate for
ple, when player B views the arrow in the resulting
this incongruity such as inverting the signals received
image from the left to right, B will be scanning the
Reflection Compensation
The compensation capabilities provided by the pres
25
ent invention are based on the resulting image seen by a
player. For example, one embodiment of the present
invention provides the ability to invert the original
image (i.e., as well as the original image) from left to
right scans the arrow’s base to its head. Thus, player B’s
directional orientation is the inverse of the original
image’s directional orientation Therefore, when B is
image such that the original image and the HUD image
pointing to the right-hand side of the resulting image, B
will actually be pointing to the left-hand side of the
are identical. FIG. 2B illustrates this inversion process.
original image.
The graphic and textual components in Original Image
.
Original/Original
200 and HUD Image 214 have the same orientation.
Thus, the HUD image viewed by a player has the same
FIG. 3A illustrates an example where the textual
orientation as the original image provided by the image
generator (e.g., video game). That is, the player will see
components in both of the resulting images is inverted.
arrow 204 and text 206. The following is a discussion of
Thus, the text is difficult to read.
FIG. 3B provides an illustration of player A and B’s
various images seen by two players (i.e., A and B) and
resulting images where both players’ resulting images
possible compensation techniques that may be needed
have the same orientation as the original image (i.e., the
for each.
monitor images are the inverse of the original image and
The table of FIG. 7 illustrates four possible pairs of
the resulting images are the inverse of the monitor im
resulting images that can be generated using the present
age). As in FIG. 3A, Player B’s perspective is illustrated
invention, depending on operations performed on the
by viewing the FIG. from the bottom up while player
graphic elements of the original image, on the text of
A’s perspective is from the top down.
the original image, and on the control elements. Col 45 Because the resulting images are the same as the origi
umns 3A-3D correspond to the examples of FIGS.
nal image, the graphical and textual elements in the
3A-3D respectively. The entries in the row titled"‘re
resulting images have the same orientation has in the
sulting image” indicate the image seen by each player A
original image, and the textual components can be read
and B. For example, the entry in the row titled “result
from left to right. Further, the players’ graphical com
ing image” in column 3A is “re?ection/re?ection”.
ponents have the same orientation as in the original
This means that each player sees a re?ection of the
original image.
. image.
‘
Re?ection/Original
The entries in the row titled “graphical elemen ”
indicate operations performed on the graphical portion
of the original image. A straight line indicates that no
FIG. 3C provides an illustration of player A and B’s
55
operation is performed on the graphical portion. A pair
of arrows indicates that an inverting operation is per
formed. Similarly, for the rows entitled “control ele
ments” and “textural elements”, a straight line means
that no operation is performed and arrows indicate an 60
resulting images where one players’ resulting image
(player A) is a re?ection of the original image and the
other players’ (player B) resulting image is a re?ection
of the inverse of the original image. Player B’s perspec
tive is illustrated by viewing the Figure from the bot
tom of the sheet containing the Figure toward the top of
the sheet. Player A’s perspective is illustrated by view
Each of the con?gurations of columns 3A-3D are
ing the Figure from the top of the sheet containing the
described below in conjunction with FIGS. 3A-3D
Figure toward the bottom of the sheet.
respectively.
Looking at the Figure from Player B’s perspective,
65 player B’s resulting image is a re?ection of player B’s
Re?ection/Re?ection
Monitor Image, an inverse of the original image. The
FIG. 3A provides an illustration of player A and B’s
arrow in the monitor image is pointing from right to
resulting images where both player’s resulting image is
left, however the arrow in the resulting image is point
inverting operation.
9
5,368,309
ing from the players’ left to the players’ right. The tex
tual components in the monitor image are inverted, but
appear as normal readable text in the resulting image
to Monitor 210 and inverted as it is output on Monitor
seen by Player-QB.
Player A views a resulting image that is the inverse of
the A’s monitor image. Since the monitor image is the
210. Monitor 210 inverts Original Image 200 to produce
Monitor Image 208 comprised of arrow 220 and text
222 (i.e., the inverse of arrow 204 and text 206, respec
tively). HUD 216 re?ects Monitor Image 208 to pro
duce HUD Image 214 (i.e., a re?ection of Monitor
Image 208). Since HUD Image 214 is a re?ection of
Monitor Image 208 and Monitor Image 208 is the in
verse of Original Image 200, HUD Image 214 is the
inverse of Monitor Image 214 and has the same orienta
tion as Original Image. Thus, HUD Image 214 is com
same as the original image, the resulting image is the
inverse of the original image. Thus, the textual elements
viewed by player A are in inverse order. However, as
can be seen in FIG. 3C, the graphic images are coinci
dent. That is, when the players are looking at the same
action point (e. g. the point of the arrow), each player is
looking at substantially the same location.
Modi?ed Original/Original
prised of arrow 204 and text 206.
15
Software Image Manipulation
FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate a situation where each
player will be viewing the graphical elements of their
respective images from a different orientation. Refer~
ring to FIG. 3B, when player B looks at the head of the
arrow in B’s resulting image, B’s line of sight will be
directed toward the left side of the B’s resulting image
and the right side of A’s resulting image (i.e., from A’s
perspective). However, when player A looks at the
10
to scan the image provided by Image Generator 202 in
reverse order. Thus, Original Image 200 is transmitted
The present invention can also be implemented such
20
that the inversion process is manipulated using software
(e.g., digital video editor or computer). FIG. 2D illus
trates the process for inverting Original Image 200
using software. Image Generator 202 provides Image
200 comprised of arrow 204 and text 206. Original
Image 200 is transmitted to Image Inverter 228 via 226.
head of the arrow in A’s resulting image, A’s line of
Image Inverter 228 inverts Original Image 200 to pro
sight will be directed toward the left side of A’s result 25 duce Inverted Image 224.
ing image and the right side of B’s resulting image (i.e.,
Inverted Image 224 is comprised of arrow 220 and
from B’s perspective). The present invention can be
text 222 (i.e., the inverse of arrow 204 and text 206).
used in this manner, however, when play is concen
Inverted Image 224 is transmitted to Monitor 210 via
trated on one side of the resulting images, each player
230 and is output as Monitor Image 208. Monitor Image
will appear to the other to be looking at the wrong side 30 208 and Inverted Image 224 are identical. HUD 216
of the image.
re?ects Monitor Image 208 to produce HUD Image 214
(i.e., a re?ection of Monitor Image 208). Since HUD
Image 214 is a re?ection of Monitor Image 208 and
Monitor Image 208 is the inverse of Original Image 200,
HUD Image 214 is the inverse of Monitor Image 214
FIG. 3D provides an illustration of player A and B’s
resulting images where player B’s resulting image is the
same as the original image, (i.e., B’s monitor image is the
inverse of the original image and B’s resulting image is
the inverse of the monitor image). However, the graphi
and has the same orientation as Original Image 200.
cal and textual components of the original image are
Thus, HUD Image 214 is comprised of arrow 204 and
treated differently to yield player A’s resulting image.
text 206.
The graphical components (i.e., arrow in FIGS.
3A—D) in the original image are not inverted before 40
they are viewed by player A. Thus, A’s resulting image
contains graphical components that are the inverse of
Character Inversion
FIG. 3D illustrates that text components can be posi
original image, and can be read from left to right.
The operations performed on the two monitor images
tioned such that the position of opposing, like compo
nents are coincident (i.e., positional coincidence). How
ever, the letters within like text components (e. g., “AR
ROW” in FIG. 3D) are not coincident. Thus, the letter
“A” in the “ARROW”. text component of player A’s
resulting image is not coincident with the letter “A” in
the same text component of player B’s resulting image
results in resulting images that provide coincident lines
(i.e., order coincidence).
the original image. However, the textual components in
the original image are inverted prior to appearing on
player A’s monitor image. Thus, A’s resulting image
contains text that has the same orientation as in the
of sight. It is as though one player is viewing the virtual
image from the opposite side from the side being
viewed by the other player. This is best illustrated by
folding the ?gure in half horizontally. By doing so, it
45
Complete coincidence (positional and order coinci
dence) results in the letters of one of the “ARROW”
components being in reverse order, and results in the
text being difficult to read. To achieve complete coinci
can be seen that the graphical components (e.g., the tips
dence for both the text and the graphics components,
of the arrowheads) and the textual components in both 55 the text components of an image can be addressed inde
of the resulting images are apparently coincident. Thus,
pendent of the graphic components. It can be seen,
both players will appear to the other to be looking at the
however, that complete coincidence of text components
same area within the virtual image.
will effect the readability of the text component for one
of the players.
Hardware Image Manipulation
The inversion can be performed using either hard
ware or software alternatives. FIG. 2C illustrates a
method of providing the correct orientation using hard
ware. The Image Generator 202 provides image 200
A determination of whether to make a textual compo
nent absolutely coincident in opposing images and to
sacri?ce the readability of the text can be dependent on
the purpose of the text. For example, text that is consid
ered to be supplemental or informational (e.g., score
with arrow 204 and text m6. Image 200 is transmitted to 65 tally) does not have to be completely coincident. In
Monitor 210 via communication line 212. The polarity
of the coils in Monitor 210 are reversed to perform a
backwards scan. A backwards scan causes Monitor 210
such an instance, positional coincidence will be suf?
cient to maintain the virtual video characteristics of the
present invention. Information or supplemental text is
11
5,368,309
12
not considered to be part of the action and, therefore,
the readability of such text is more important than abso
a second re?ecting means for re?ecting said second
inverted image toward a second viewer, said ?rst
and second viewers positioned opposed to one
lute coincidence.
another.
A small percentage of textual components may be
7. An apparatus of claim 6 such that said ?rst inver
considered integral to the perceived action. A still 5
sion means inverts said text and graphic components of
smaller percentage of text components will be of such
said visual output and said second inversion means in
dimension that the coincident line of sight of the present
verts said text components of said visual output.
invention may be impacted. In this instance, both posi
8. An apparatus of claim 6 such that said second in
tional and order coincidence may be needed. That is,
version means inverts said text and graphic components
integral text that is of such a dimension to affect the line
of said visual output and said ?rst inversion means in
of sight can be displayed in reverse order such that each
verts said text components of said visual output.
component of the text is aligned with the same compo
9. A display comprising:
control means for controlling input and effecting
visual output;
nent in the opposing image. Using a software inversion
technique, such text can be individually addressed to
achieve order coincidence. Thus, complete coincident
will be achieved and the line of sight maintained.
a ?rst display means for displaying a ?rst image of
said visual output;
Thus, a method and apparatus for a virtual video
a second display means for displaying a second image
game whereby players sit opposite each other and view
the game and each other through a semi-transparent
image generated in real-time through the use of a ?rst 20
surface re?ection has been provided.
We claim:
1. A display comprising:
control means for controlling input and effecting
25
visual output;
a ?rst display means for displaying a ?rst image of
said visual output;
a second display means for displaying a second image
of said visual output such that said second image is 30
inverted;
of said visual output such that said second image is
inverted;
a ?rst re?ecting means for re?ecting said image from
said ?rst display means toward a ?rst viewer; and
a second re?ecting means for re?ecting said image
from said second display means toward a second
viewer;
wherein said ?rst viewer receives a ?rst composite
image comprising an opposing image of said sec
ond viewer and said re?ected image from said ?rst
re?ecting means, said second viewer receiving a
second composite image comprising an opposing
image of said ?rst viewer and said re?ected image
from said second re?ecting means.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said second
re?ecting means is positioned opposite said ?rst re?ect
a ?rst re?ecting means for re?ecting said image from
said first display means toward a ?rst viewer; and
a second re?ecting means for re?ecting said image
toward a second display means toward a second
ing means and said ?rst re?ecting means is in the ?eld of
view of said second viewer and said second re?ecting
opposed to one another.
means is in the ?eld of view of said ?rst viewer.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said second re
11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said graphical
?ecting means is positioned opposite said ?rst re?ecting
component of said second image is reversed and said
means and said ?rst re?ecting means is in the ?eld of 40 textual component of said ?rst and second images is
view of said second viewer and said second re?ecting
reversed.
means is in the ?eld of view of said ?rst viewer.
12. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said graphical
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said graphical
component of said ?rst image is reversed and said tex
component of said second image is reversed and said
tual component of said ?rst and second images is re
textual component of said ?rst and second images is 45 versed.
reversed.
13. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said image is
4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said graphical
composed of graphical and textual components.
component of said ?rst image is reversed and said tex
14. An apparatus for providing coincident lines of
tual component of said ?rst and second images is re
sight in opposing views comprising:
versed.
control means for controlling input and generating
5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said image is
visual output with a plurality of graphic and text
viewer, said ?rst and second viewers positioned
composed of graphical and textual components.
components;
6. An apparatus for providing coincident lines of
a ?rst inverting means for generating a ?rst inverted
sight in opposing views comprising:
image of said visual output;
control means for controlling input and generating 55
visual output with a plurality of graphic and text
components;
a ?rst inverting means for generating a ?rst inverted
a second display means for displaying said second
a ?rst display means for displaying a ?rst image of
inverted image of said visual output;
said ?rst inverted image;
a second inverting means for generating a second
inverted image of said visual output;
a second display means for displaying said second
inverted image of said visual output;
said ?rst inverted image;
a second inverting means for generating a second
inverted image of said visual output;
image of said visual output;
a ?rst re?ecting means for re?ecting said ?rst in~
verted image from said ?rst display means toward
a ?rst viewer; and
a ?rst display means for displaying a ?rst image of
65
a ?rst re?ecting means for re?ecting said ?rst in
verted image from said ?rst display means toward
a ?rst viewer; and
a second re?ecting means for re?ecting said second
inverted image toward a second viewer;
wherein said ?rst viewer receives a ?rst composite
image comprising an opposing image of said sec
ond viewer and said re?ected image from said ?rst
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