Will the PSVR 2 use your voice as a warning signal?
The PSVR 2 could soon warn of physical objects in the VR gaming environment with a dynamic audio system and voice profiles of real people.
A new patent from Sony shows that the PSVR 2's guardian system could soon be improved. The VR headset could give a voice alert when people or animals in the physical space invade the VR gaming environment. The dynamic 3D audio system is said to be able to acoustically locate the direction, distance, and size of moving obstacles.
Audio signal determines location of obstacles
In two patents published on 16 March 2023, Sony describes two guardian systems designed to detect moving objects and alert VR users. Rather than visually superimposing people or pets into the field of view, as Meta Quest 2's guardian system does, Sony is likely to rely on audio and graphics solutions.
A dynamic, audio-based system will alert users with a sound or voice when someone or something intrudes into the VR headsets' predefined game environment.
The system should be able to communicate the current position of the approaching object in space through a 3D audio signal. For example, you can hear which direction a cat or a child is coming from. The signal should get louder or more intense as the object gets closer.
In addition, visual warning signals, such as color changes in the virtual environment, should indicate a possible collision. If a collision is imminent, the headset will pause the application or display a pop-up warning.
PSVR 2 warns you with your own voice
Sony also talks about playing different 3D audio for different objects. Depending on the size of the object, the volume, and frequency of the sound could also change.
Computer-generated voices, or the voice of a character from the VR game you are playing, could also be used as a warning instead of a beep.
It is even possible to use previously created voice profiles of users or family members. As an example, Sony mentions the message “Your son is behind you” to alert a VR user that their child is approaching from behind. Imagine that in the sound of your partner's voice.
Vibrating visual warning system
Another patent focuses instead on a visual warning, such as a bubble with text or another graphic object without text. The idea is to use eye-tracking to measure whether players see the warning.
If ignored, the warning would be reinforced by a dynamic audio signal or vibration. According to Sony, it is also possible to increase the size of the warning icon or slow down the VR environment.