Invented by Mohammad Raheel Khalid, Ali Jaafar, Dan Sun, Christian Egeler, John GU, Jyotsna Kachroo, Danny C. Lui, Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc
The Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc invention works as followsAn exemplary system generates a variety of content files, each one including data representative for content in a virtual world. The plurality is then sent via a network to a media player device. The plurality generated and provided of content files includes at least one of a plurality uniform-resolution and a plurality mixed-resolution files. Each of the plurality uniform-resolution content file is associated with a different center point in the virtual reality. Each of the plurality mixed-resolution content file corresponds to a particular content sector from a plurality partially overlapped content sectors, which together form a view on the virtual reality world associated a single point. The one content sector is encoded at a high resolution and the rest are encoded at a low resolution.
Background for Methods and systems for delivering independently-controllable interactive media content
New forms of media content are possible thanks to advances in computing and networking technology. Interactive media content, for example, is now available to viewers (or users?). Interactive media content is available for viewers (or?users?) to watch and participate in. Interactive television is one type of interactive media content. This interactive content may contain embedded code that implements interactive games and/or other features that users can select to use in interactive television programs. An interactive television program might include code that allows a user to make decisions about how the story proceeds.
Virtual reality media content is another type of interactive media content that may be used to immerse users in interactive virtual reality worlds they can interact with or?experience?” You can direct your attention to all of the things in the immersive virtual world simultaneously. At any given moment during the presentation, the user may view the immersive virtual world in any direction. This includes a horizontal dimension (e.g. forward, backwards, left, right, etc.). As well as vertical dimensions (e.g. up, down, etc.). The user is able to feel that they are actually there and can experience the immersive virtual reality world.
Interactive media content can be set up to be independent-controllable so that users may see and/or experience it differently. This could include viewing different narratives in interactive TV media content depending on the decisions made by each user, or experiencing different parts of an immersive virtual world at different times depending on where they look. As a result, specific data representative of specific parts of independently-controllable interactive media content (e.g., parts tailored to specific interactions of each user with the interactive media content) are traditionally transmitted to each user by way of point-to-point (i.e., unicast) media delivery protocols. However, when a large number of users desires to view or experience the same independently-controllable interactive media content, point-to-point media delivery protocols may be inefficient and/or may place an undesirable burden on systems and/or networks providing and/or carrying the data representative of the interactive media content.
Methods and systems for performing point-to-multipoint delivery of independently-controllable interactive media content are described herein. Interactive media content can be controlled independently (i.e. interacted with, experienced etc.). Different users may have different media player device devices. An interactive media provider system, which is a server managed and/or maintained at an interactive content provider, can deliver interactive media content to their media player devices. Interactive media content can include interactive television media, virtual reality media, and/or other interactive media content to serve a specific implementation.
An interactive media content provider system can generate data that is representative of an immersive virtual world. In this sense, the immersive virtual world may be completely immersive. This is because the virtual world is not integrated with the real world where the user is located. technologies). While the immersive virtual world may not include real-world scenery, it may be created using data (e.g. audio and image data) that is representative of real-world scenery captured by the camera. This may be different from animated or computer-generated scenery such as the ones used in animated entertainment programs and video games. As will be explained below, camera-captured scenery can include real-world locations (e.g., streets, buildings and landscapes). ), real-world events (e.g. sporting events, large celebrations like New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras). ), live entertainment that is fictionalized (e.g. virtual reality TV shows, virtual reality movies etc. ), and so on. As will be explained below, the data representative for the immersive virtual world may also include one or more content file that may contain data representative content of the immersive VR world (e.g. real-world scenery, virtual sceneries, real or virtual objects etc.). encoded at one or several resolutions (i.e. levels of detail and/or high quality).
The interactive media content provider may simultaneously generate the data representative of the immersive VR world. It may also provide the data in a unicast stream to multiple media player devices, each one associated with a different user. Instead of providing the data in unicast streams to all users, the interactive content provider system could provide the data via a point-tomultipoint media delivery protocol like a Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service? (?MBMS?)). Protocol performed with a Long Term Evolution? wireless platform. In some cases, the term “eMBMS” may be used to refer to the MBMS protocol performed using LTE wireless platform. The MBMS protocol executed using LTE’s wireless platform may be called?eMBMS? in some cases. Below are examples of the overall data generated and sent to media players devices (e.g. over eMBMS, another point-tomultipoint media delivery protocol).
Each of the media players devices that provide the overall data may be associated to a user and may be set up to render a portion within the field of view on the display screen. Each media player device could, for example, render a portion or all of the overall data within the area that the user directs (also known as an “observed area”).
The field of view allows the user to experience the immersive virtual world. The field of view can be used to display or present content from the immersive VR world, such as images of scenery or objects around the user. As the user experiences the immersive VR world, the field may change dynamically in response to input. The media player device might detect user input, such as turning or moving the display screen that displays the field, and may request additional content to be added to the field. The field of view might display the additional content instead of the previously displayed content. The field of view can be used to provide a window for the user. The user can then view the virtual reality world through the field of view.
In certain cases, the first and second users may independently control the view of a first field on a media player device that is associated with a user. A second field on a media player device associated to a user can be viewed on a different device. The first field may be directed independently by the first user, while the second may be directed independently by the second user. This means that the first part of the overall data rendered in the first field may differ from the second portion rendered in the second field at a given time.
Several benefits may arise from the methods and systems for point-to-multipoint delivery of independently-controllable interactive media content described herein. A large number of users might be interested in viewing, experiencing and/or recording the content (e.g., using a time-shifted media content recorder such as a Digital Video Recorder?DVR?)). Particular interactive media content that is associated with a time sensitive event (e.g., live sporting events or news events, or a scheduled airing or other program). at the same or similar times. Distributing interactive media content via a point-tomultipoint media delivery protocol (e.g. a multicast protocol or a broadcast protocol), is possible. An interactive media content provider system may transmit the interactive content, which can significantly reduce the processing load compared to distribution of the media content to large numbers of users via a point-to?point media delivery protocol (e.g. a broadcast protocol, multicast protocol, etc.). The interactive media provider system may transmit and generate one point-tomultipoint data stream instead of transmitting many point-to point data streams to distribute interactive media content among a large number media player devices. A load on one or several network components (e.g. servers, routers and switches, etc.), may also be reduced. The overall data representation of interactive media content can be carried significantly less if the point to-multipoint media protocol is used to transmit one point-tomultipoint (e.g. broadcast or multicast) data stream, rather than the point to-point media protocol being used for transmitting a large number (e.g. unicast).
These and other important benefits could be associated with interactive media content provider systems and/or networks carrying interactive media content, while not causing significant disadvantages to media player devices or users associated with media player devices. A media player device, or a user using the device may not know what media delivery protocol is used for interactive media content delivery to the device.
Various embodiments will be described in greater detail using the figures. These disclosed methods and systems could provide some of the benefits previously mentioned, as well as other benefits.
FIG. “FIG. configured to perform point-to-multipoint delivery of independently-controllable interactive media content. System 100 could include, but is not limited to, a communication device 102, a content creation facility 104, as well as a storage facility (106) that are selectively and communicatively connected to each other. Facilities 102 to 106 are clearly shown in FIG. 1 Any of the facilities 102-106 can be combined or broken down into smaller facilities to serve a specific implementation.
System 100 can be implemented using one or more of the devices and/or system described herein. While system 100 may be described and illustrated as separate from the various systems and devices described in this section, it is possible that any one of these systems or devices may be used to implement some components or operations of system 100. System 100 can manage, maintain, or transmit overall data that is representative of interactive media content to media player devices (e.g. an immersive virtual reality environment of virtual reality media contents).
Storage facility106 may store interactive media content data108 that has been received, managed, maintained and used by communication facility102 and/or content generator 104. As will be described in more detail below, interactive media content data 108 may include any data that may facilitate system 100 in performing the point-to-multipoint delivery of independently-controllable interactive media content in a particular embodiment.
Communication facility102 may perform any communication operations necessary to ensure that system 100 is functional. Communication facility 104, for example, may receive raw data from a 360-degree image, which may then be used to generate overall data that can be used in interactive media content. Communication facility 104 can also prepare and/or transmit the data (e.g. to one or more multimedia player devices via a point-tomultipoint media delivery protocol).
Content generator facility 104 can perform any operations necessary to generate and/or prepare the overall data representative for the interactive media content (e.g. overall data representative an immersive virtual world of virtual reality content). Based on data (e.g. raw data) received from communication facility 102. The overall data may be supplied to communication facility 101 by content generation facility 104 to be simultaneously provided to multiple media player devices via a point-tomultipoint media delivery protocol. Other operations may be performed by content generation facility 104 to support a specific implementation.
FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary configuration 200 in which system 100 operates with exemplary implementations of a content creator system and a plurality of media player devices to perform point-to-multipoint delivery of independently-controllable interactive media content. As shown in configuration 200, system 100 may receive interactive media content data from a content creator 202 and may simultaneously provide overall data representative the interactive media contents over a network (e.g. media player device 206-1 or 206-2) to media player devices206. These data may be associated with users208 (e.g. users 208-1 and208-2, respectively). In some examples, as shown, the overall data representative of the interactive media content may be concurrently provided to media player devices 206 by way of a point-to-multipoint media delivery protocol 210 (?point-to-multipoint protocol 210?). We will now go over each element of configuration 200 in greater detail.
Content creator system 202 could include one or more servers, or other computing devices, associated with (e.g. provided and/or managed) a content creator such a television network (e.g. NBC), a cable channel (e.g. ESPN), a virtual reality content network and/or any other source for interactive media content that may be used in a particular implementation. System 100, via network 204, may have access to content creator system 202. This data may include any data system 100 might use to create interactive media content. Content creator system 202 could provide data to system 100 that can be used to create interactive media content. Another example is that content creator system 200 may give data to system 100, which can be available to media player devices (206) for viewing and/or experience by users 208.
In configuration 200 system 100 may be implemented using a backend or other computing device that is associated with (e.g. provided and/or managed) an interactive content service provider (e.g. a network provider, cable provider, satellite provider, Internet service provider), a provider virtual reality mobile apps, etc. System 100 can be configured to offer interactive media content to users (e.g. subscribers to an interactive media service provider, users who download or acquire interactive media mobile apps, etc.). via media player devices 206. System 100 may be able to receive, generate, process and/or maintain all data that is representative of interactive media content. System 100 can manage and/or distribute overall data to media players devices 206 in any manner that may be useful for a particular embodiment, as will be explained in greater detail below.
Users 208 may use the media player devices 206 to view, access, or experience interactive media content from system 100. FIG. 2 shows two media player devices, 206. FIG. 2 shows two media player devices, 206-1, and 206-2. However, configuration 200 can include any number 206 of media players 206 that are associated with any number 208. System 100 can provide data representative of interactive media content to large numbers of media player devices (206-1 and 206-2) that are associated with one or more users.