CTC PolyFormVR is a Smart Floor for Location-Based VR Experiences in Military & Entertainment

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Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) is developing PolyFormVR, a patent-pending modular smart floor designed to support location-based VR experiences with automated construction of physical infrastructure such as walls, windows, doors, stairs, and large props. The system operates using a simple 3-step process to create the physical infrastructure for locations–from measure to extrude to play–in as little as less than a minute.

First, the heights of objects in a target virtual world are measured. Then, the height measurements guide automatic extrusion of the target virtual world into the real world using a grid of moving vertical columns. Finally, users put on the VR equipment of their choice to experience the target virtual world with correlated visuotactile support provided by the columns. PolyFormVR is being developed as middleware in support of operators within the location-based VR military training and entertainment markets.

PolyFormVR is designed to alleviate pain points associated with custom infrastructure design, fabrication, placement, test, teardown, and storage and to accommodate rapid rotation of VR content and its supporting virtual-physical correlated infrastructure. While designed for custom infrastructure automation, PolyFormVR is ideal for algorithmically generated automation in which modular virtual worlds are randomly assembled and then extruded into the real-world, creating unlimited replay value. The smart floor size is modular and customizable and is sufficient for supporting tons of weight in users and in the placement of existing operator props. 

The idea for PolyFormVR arose from a brainstorming exercise to imagine next-gen virtual physical correlated training and simulation capabilities for NASA and US military dismounted soldier training and soon expanded to include entertainment venues. When we looked at the location-based VR industry we found great visuals and responsive tracking. What was missing was the ability to stand up and tear down virtual-physical correlated infrastructure in a manner as agile, timely, and responsive as the selecting and loading VR scenes themselves. The inspiration for its design came from the idea that a synthetic physical environment could be generated on demand, as portrayed in the video game Portal and in the Star Trek series. With PolyFormVR, CTC is making the virtual REAL.

We want feedback from location-based VR operators to help us improve the design of PolyFormVR. Please click the following link to participate in a short market survey.

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