Mysterious "Chaperone" project could expand Valve's VR plans
The Reddit community has unearthed a trademark which suggests that the world's most mysterious gaming behemoth, Valve, could be hiding a secret VT project up its sleeve.
The trademark was filed on 20th March, but only discovered this week. It sticks a Valve-shaped flagpole in the name "Chaperone".
It's a word that initially conjures images of a robot designed to help pensioners across the road or police hormone-fuelled teenagers at a school dance, but the goods and services associated with the Chaperone name are listed as "hardware and software, sensors, and beacons for the detection and measurement of physical objects and the representation of such objects in virtual reality environments".
This answers one of our niggling doubts as to the viability of living room VR - the lack of space. If users are limited to bumbling around a 5x5m living room in which they can't see anything, then the possibilites of this hugely promising technology are somewhat restricted.
However, create VR equipment that can re-render the outside world as something different but in the same essential configuration, and you give people the opportunity to run about, smack each other with plastic swords, and completely avoid stubbing their toe on the hardwood coffee table.
There are limited possibilties for re-rendering your living room again and again, but in an environment which is designed for easy reconfiguration with plentiful space, the doors of opportunity are wide open.
Valve isn't the only company with its eye on a VR/AR hybrid experience. As we reported last week, virtual reality experience The Void is promsiing to deliver custom-made virtual reality experiences that use exactly the same technique of re-rendering the real world trhough a headset.
Both Valve's and The Void's efforts in this department are likely a long way off for the majority of us, if they ever see the light of day at all, but the ideas are an exciting prospect nonetheless.