Valve, purveyor of loads of discounted PC games that none of us ever find the time to play, has been branching out into the hardware world of late. Their latest target is the world of virtual reality and some Reddit sleuthing has unearthed perhaps more of their plans in that line than they were expecting to reveal.
Valve filed for a new trademark in March this year, though it has only come to light now, for something called ‘Chaperone’. The obvious question is: What is Chaperone? Well, it seems that the trademark will be used for: “Hardware and software, sensors, and beacons for the detection and measurement of physical objects and the representation of such objects in virtual reality environments; Devices used for the detection and measurement of physical objects and the representation of such objects in virtual reality environments; Electronic apparatus for the detection and measurement of physical objects and the representation of such objects in virtual reality environments.”
What does that tell us? Nothing concrete, because Valve keeps their lips sealed all the damn time, but the description above from the trademark application sounds like it could be used to import physical objects in a space into a virtual-reality experience. Sensors on a VR headset that can turn your couch and coffee table into cover for a VR-based shooter, maybe?
It seems to be a home-based version of what the folks creating The Void locations are trying to do with virtual reality – blend physical space with digital experiences for a more realistic outing. One that doesn’t devolve into users tripping over tables in chairs in their virtual fight to save the world.