EP1346323A1 - Virtual reality display method and system - Google Patents

Virtual reality display method and system

Info

Publication number
EP1346323A1
EP1346323A1 EP20000991325 EP00991325A EP1346323A1 EP 1346323 A1 EP1346323 A1 EP 1346323A1 EP 20000991325 EP20000991325 EP 20000991325 EP 00991325 A EP00991325 A EP 00991325A EP 1346323 A1 EP1346323 A1 EP 1346323A1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
product
system
means
processing means
connected
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP20000991325
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Edward Johan Breedveld
Klaas Filius
Michael Gyòrgy Ite Paul Vermes
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
EXVISIUM B.V.
Original Assignee
Edward Johan Breedveld
Klaas Filius
Michael Gyòrgy Ite Paul Vermes
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Edward Johan Breedveld, Klaas Filius, Michael Gyòrgy Ite Paul Vermes filed Critical Edward Johan Breedveld
Priority to PCT/NL2000/000922 priority Critical patent/WO2002048967A1/en
Publication of EP1346323A1 publication Critical patent/EP1346323A1/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

System and method for electronically visualising at least one product in a retail environment, the system (5) comprising input means (17) for receiving user input concerning the at least one product and processing means (11), connected to the input means (17), the processing means (11) comprising first storage means (13) for storing and retrieving visual information concerning the at least one product. The system further comprises display means (10) connected to the processing means (11) for displaying the visual information concerning the at least one product as a three-dimensional virtual object. The display means (10) may comprise an immersive virtual reality projection system (15) or at least one semi-immersive flat screen display (15).

Description

Virtual reality display method and system

The present invention relates to a virtual reality display method and system. More specifically, in a first aspect, the present invention relates to a method for electronic visualisation of at least one product comprising the steps of receiving user input concerning the at least one product and retrieving visual information concerning the at least one product. The method can be used for electronic visualisation and demonstration of products or services (but also for displaying commercial and entertainment information to be presented in retail environments, such as shopping centers or malls or inside a department store).

Video systems using a monitor are known to present products in a retail environment, such as a shop. These systems have a limited flexibility, being able to present only the products for which video presentations have been made, and no interactioji is possible with a possible customer. Furthermore, the systems are also bound to a specific location. Also, such a video system is not designed to dynamically introduce other types of content, such as commercial and entertainment information.

Computerised (Internet) systems for product visualisation and demonstration are also known in the art. Usually these systems are directed at home users, allowing a multitude of users to view products at a multitude of locations. These systems are primarily focussed on applications using Internet, not to business and/or shop environments.

In some circumstances, it is not possible to show certain items in a shop, as these items may be too big or cumbersome to actually present these. This may be caused by the dimensions of the items, in relation to the available space, or it may be impossible to show a product in an environment in which it is being meant to be used.

The present invention seeks to provide a system for electronic visualisation of products or services, which do not present the disadvantages of known systems.

According to the present invention, a method is provided according to the preamble defined above, in which the method comprises the further step of displaying the visual information concerning the at least one product to the user as a three- dimensional virtual object. This allows an appealing, user-friendly showroom to be implemented at any retail environment. The method will provide a simulated live three- dimensional experience of the at least one product. In an embodiment of the present method, the method comprises the further steps of receiving data from the user related to control of features of the at least one product and to accordingly adjust the visual representation of the at least one product. This will allow a user to interact with the visualised product and to fully explore its capabilities. An example is a demonstration of a product, such as a hi-fi audio system, which can be tested by pressing virtually displayed pushbuttons.

A further embodiment of the present method comprises the further steps of receiving information on a selected product of the user concerning sale of the at least one product and coupling user information to the selected product to allow delivery and billing of the selected product. This allows a user of a system to directly purchase a product which was shown as a virtual three-dimensional product.

Preferably, the visual information concerning the at least one product is stored in a central database. A web enabled catalogue can be derived from this central database. Shop representatives and/or customers can then interactively select products or services from one or more product catalogues.

In a further embodiment, the present method comprises the further step of: maintaining a personalised profile comprising selected product preferences for visualisation of the at least one product. This enables customers who return to a particular shop to directly use the method according to their own preferences. Preferably customers will be able to define their preferences in a web enabled environment (e.g. at home).

A still further embodiment of the present method comprises the further step of locally communicating advertising information. In this way, attention can be brought to the area where the present method is implemented, effectively attracting customers. A further aspect of the present invention relates to a system for electronically visualising at least one product, the system comprising input means for receiving user input concerning the at least one product and processing means, connected to the input means, the processing means comprising first storing means for storing and retrieving visual information concerning the at least one product. The system further comprises display means connected to the processing means for displaying the visual information concerning the at least one product as a three-dimensional virtual object. The system according to the present invention can be placed in any location, e.g. in a shopping mall. This can be as a separate shop, or as a shop-in-a-shop. The system allows existing retailers to maintain an almost infinite variety of product assortments with a minimum amount of showroom space required. This is specifically advantageous when the product is e.g. a line of cars, which normally would not fit in a limited shopping mall location. The present system may give a display of the interior and exterior aspects of selected car models, while displaying the car in various available fashions and colours. Another line of products which may benefit from the present system, is home furnishing, where the system allows to three-dimensionally visualise selected pieces of furniture. It is also possible to visualise the products in an optionally selectable home style environment, preferably three-dimensional. In a preferred embodiment, the display means comprise an immersive virtual reality projection system. This system allows a complete immersion of the customer in the displayed surroundings, creating a very natural virtual sensation of the product displayed. As an alternative, the display means comprise at least one semi-immersive flat screeifdisplay, which allows a very good three-dimensional display of products. These semi-immersive flat screen displays allow an automatic transition from two- dimensional representation to semi three-dimensional representation.

In a further embodiment of the present system, the processing means are arranged to receive data from the user input means related to control of features of the at least one product and to accordingly adjust the visual representation of the at least one product. This allows a customer to interact with the product displayed, e.g. by controlling pushbuttons on a car instrument panel.

The system further may comprise a sales system, connected to the processing means, for coupling sales information concerning the at least one product for delivery and billing of the at least one product. This allows the system to be used completely stand-alone as a sales point for a line of products.

Preferably, the visual information concerning the at least one product is stored on the first storage means, such as a central database, as a web enabled catalogue, allowing a customer to select from the total range of products available.

In a further embodiment, the system further comprises second storage means connected to the processing means for storing a personalised profile. This may be advantageous in obtaining a maximum level of customer loyalty and personalisation, and such a customer database may also be used for customer relations management (CRM) and database marketing purposes. The most advantages will be achieved by the present system, when it is positioned in an off-line retail environment, such as a normal shopping center, shopping mall or department store. In these places, space is usually scarce and expensive, and the present system allows to show a full line of products to a wide range of customers without the need of a lot of floor space.

In a further embodiment, the system further comprises network interface means connected to the processing means. This allows the system to be used on-line, e.g. via the Internet. A customer can then use the system to view and buy products, which the customer has earlier seen as a three-dimensional virtual object. In this embodiment, the system can also be remotely controlled via the network interface means, e.g. via an Intranet connection. The operation can be remotely controlled, but also the distribution of content (the visual information of the products) can be managed from a remote location.

A further embodiment of the present system further comprises communication means, connected to the processing means, for communicating with personal communication means in the vicinity of the system. These communication means may e.g. be mobile telephony interfaces, which may transmit information to cellular phones, PDA-devices or e- wallet systems operating in the vicinity of the present system (using e.g. SMS messages or a WAP protocol). Also, the communication means may be implemented as Bluetooth terminals.

The present application will now be explained in further detail by means of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which the single figure shows a schematic diagram of an exemplary embodiment of the system according to the present invention. The figure shows in a simplified manner a block diagram showing various components of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

The present system 5 may be used in a retail environment and provides retail merchants with an innovative system and method for virtual exposition, demonstration and selling of three-dimensionally visualised products and services in a simulated three-dimensional environment.

The present system 5 may be implemented as an appealing, customer friendly showroom, within the premises of an existing retail environment, e.g. a mall department, and individual shop or a shop in a shop. Central processing means 11, such as an advanced graphical subsystem, is the major processing block, controlling most of the peripheral systems and the information of a user session. The central processing means 11 are connected to two database blocks 12, 13, comprising information on a plurality of products or services for sale via the present system. The first database 12 comprises general product info, such as description, price, etc. The second database 13 comprises information concerning specific visual information of each of the plurality of products. The databases 12, 13 allow to present an almost infinite variety of product assortments using the present system 5 with a minimum amount of showroom space required. Preferably, the information in the first and second database 12, 13 is arranged as a web-enabled catalogue in a central database, allowing the user of the present system 5 to browse through all products of the catalogue.

The specific visual information from the second database 13 is transmitted to the display system 10 of the present system. The display system 10 comprises a visualisation processor 14. This visualisation processor is connected to and receives input from an optional user position sensor 16 and a user input device 17. These inputs are used to perform the calculations on the visual information of a product to enable a three-dimensional visualisation of the product to the user. For this, the display system 10 comprises a display device 15 connected to the visualisation processor 14. The display device 15 is preferably an immersive virtual reality projection system, effectively enclosing the user with a three-dimensional virtual reality. As an alternative, the display device 15 may comprise a number of, preferably large size, semi-immersive flat screen displays.

The present system 5 enables a merchant to also present products which he normally could not present in a limited amount of floor space. Examples are car models, which may be shown in all interior and exterior aspects, including various available fashions and colors. Another example is focussed on the home furnishing market, for which the present system 5 may visualise many different pieces of furniture in optionally selectable home style environments. A still further example relates to the three-dimensional visualisation of a travel brochure, resulting in a life-like experience for the user selecting a certain travel destination.

Preferably, the display system 10 is arranged to provide an interaction with the user. An example of this is to provide a demonstration of products in the virtual environment, in which pushbuttons are present which may be virtually actuated. The visualisation processor 14 then adapts the projected virtual product according to the function associated with that pushbutton. This of course, requires that the product visual data in the second database 13 comprises the information necessary to display the functional behaviour of the product presented.

Preferably, the present system is equipped to handle purchasing of the products visualised on the display device 15. To this end, the central processor means 11 are connected to a sales information database 19, to which purchase information from the user is communicated. Specific information concerning the selected product is received by the sales information database 19 from the first database 12. The sales information database 19 is connected to a sales system 18, which may be a (credit) card reader, a cash collector system or an e-wallet system, allowing payment for the product selected by the user. Furthermore, the sales information database 19 is connected to a delivery system 20sfor addressing and dispatch of the product(s) selected. The user may have certain preferences for using the present system. These preferences may relate to generic use of the system (control of the display device 15), to certain preferences for products in the product databases 12, 13, or personal information such as billing and shipping data. These preferences may be stored in a user personal information database 21, which is connected to the central processor means 11, the sales information database 19, and the delivery system 20. The personal preferences may be accessible to the user of the present system 5 by using a dedicated login procedure, thereby assuring the privacy aspects of the personal information.

The personal information in the personal information database 21, and the sales information in the sales information database 19 may be used for customer relations management (CRM) and database marketing purposes.

The central processor means 11 may be connected to a network interface 22. The purpose of this network interface 22 is twofold. The network interface 22 may be used to control the present system remotely, e.g. via the Internet. This may relate to updates of the product data in the first and second database 12, 13. Secondly, the network interface 22 may be used to allow the general public to access the system, and use it to see and order products (which a customer may have seen on the three-dimensional display device 15 during an earlier visit). A further element of the present system relates to a personal device interface 23, which is connected to and controlled by the central processor means 11. The personal device interface 23 may e.g. be used to attract customers to the present system by sending an SMS message to mobile telephones of possible customers in the vicinity of the present system. The cellular phone system may provide standard features allowing to send SMS messages only to mobile telephones in the vicinity of the location of the present system. Also, other techniques may be used to provide (commercial) messages to possible customers in the vicinity of he system location. This may be implemented using e.g. normal face-to-face communication or technically more advanced techniques using UMTS, WAP or Bluetooth and personal communication devices such as personal digital assistants (PDA).

It is also possible to alternate products being shown using the present system 5 with other types of content, such as entertainment scenes (clips) and commercial information. This will turn the present system 5 into an urban shopping entertainment center that has the potential of extending overall shopping mall exposure and traffic.

Claims

1. Method for electronic visualisation of at least one product comprising the steps of receiving user input concerning the at least one product and retrieving visual information concerning the at least one product, characterised in that the method comprises the further step of displaying the visual information concerning the at least one product to the user as a three-dimensional virtual object.
2. Method according to claim 1, in which the method comprises the further steps of receiving data from the user related to control of features of the at least one product and to accordingly adjust the visual representation of the at least one product.
3. Method according to one of the proceeding claims, in which the method comprisesHhe further steps of: receiving information on a selected product of the user concerning sale of the at least one product; and coupling user information to the selected product to allow delivery and billing of the selected product.
4. Method according to one of the proceeding claims, in which the visual information concerning the at least one product is stored in a central database (13).
5. Method according to one of the proceeding claims, in which the method comprises the further step of: maintaining a personalised profile comprising selected product preferences for visualisation of the at least one product.
6. Method according to one of the proceeding claims, in which the method comprises the further step of locally communicating advertising information.
7. System for electronically visualising at least one product, the system (5) comprising input means (17) for receiving user input concerning the at least one product and processing means (11), connected to the input means (17), the processing means (11) comprising first storage means (13) for storing and retrieving visual information concerning the at least one product, characterised in that the system further comprises display means (10) connected to the processing means (11) for displaying the visual information concerning the at least one product as a three-dimensional virtual object.
8. System according to claim 7, in which the display means (10) comprise an immersive virtual reality projection system (15).
9. System according to claim 8, in which the display means (10) comprise at least one semi-immersive flat screen display (15).
10. System according to one of the claims 7 through 9, in which the processing means (1 r) are arranged to receive data from the user input means (17) related to control of features of the at least one product and to accordingly adjust the visual representation of the at least one product.
11. System according to one of the claims 7 through 10, in which the system (5) further comprises a sales system (18), connected to the processing means (11), for coupling sales information concerning the at least one product for delivery and billing of the at least one product.
12. System according to one of the claims 7 through 11, in which the visual information concerning the at least one product is stored on the first storage means (13) as a central database.
13. System according to one of the claims 7 through 12, in which the system (5) further comprises second storage means (21) connected to the processing means (11) for storing a personalised profile.
14. System according to one of the claims 7 through 13, in which the system (5) is positioned in an off-line retail environment.
15. System according to one of the claims 7 through 14, in which the system (5) further comprises network interface means (22) connected to the processing means (11).
16. System according to one of the claims 7 through 15, in which the system (5) further comprises communication means (23), connected to the processing means (11), for communicating with personal communication means in the vicinity of the system (5).
EP20000991325 2000-12-15 2000-12-15 Virtual reality display method and system Withdrawn EP1346323A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/NL2000/000922 WO2002048967A1 (en) 2000-12-15 2000-12-15 Virtual reality display method and system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP1346323A1 true EP1346323A1 (en) 2003-09-24

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP20000991325 Withdrawn EP1346323A1 (en) 2000-12-15 2000-12-15 Virtual reality display method and system

Country Status (3)

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EP (1) EP1346323A1 (en)
AU (1) AU3242801A (en)
WO (1) WO2002048967A1 (en)

Families Citing this family (2)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8321797B2 (en) 2006-12-30 2012-11-27 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Immersive visualization center for creating and designing a “total design simulation” and for improved relationship management and market research
US10235714B2 (en) * 2014-12-01 2019-03-19 Verizon Patent And Licensing Inc. Customized virtual reality user environment control

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AU1333895A (en) * 1993-11-30 1995-06-19 Raymond R. Burke Computer system for allowing a consumer to purchase packaged goods at home
US6052591A (en) * 1996-08-19 2000-04-18 Ericsson Inc. Broadcasting messages to mobile stations within a geographic area
US6052669A (en) * 1997-06-06 2000-04-18 Haworth, Inc. Graphical user interface supporting method and system for remote order generation of furniture products
WO2000045242A2 (en) * 1999-02-01 2000-08-03 Pratt Jessica L System and method for developing and implementing interactive three dimensional internet sites
JP2000259859A (en) * 1999-03-10 2000-09-22 Dainippon Printing Co Ltd Device for displaying information on three-dimensional merchandise and recording medium

Non-Patent Citations (1)

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Title
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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2002048967A1 (en) 2002-06-20
AU3242801A (en) 2002-06-24

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