Microsoft Receives Patent for “Connecting Spatial Anchors for Augmented Reality”

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Spatial Anchors represent a physical point of presence in the cloud, and the most important thing about this is that they can be stored in the cloud and later could also be queried by the device that created it. Using spatial anchors, any holographic scene can store characteristic information about environmental points, which helps recreate the exact replica later.

Microsoft has filed for a patent that the company describes as an augmented reality system that connects spatial anchors using which the technology builds an AR/MR experience. The patent that the company filed for is titled “Connecting spatial anchors for augmented reality.”

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The device described in the patent consists of three components: a camera, a processor, and a memory that stores the instructions coming from the processor. The space anchors will help the developers use augmented reality and mixed reality platforms to make sense of space, figure out the precise points of interest, and call points of interest from supported devices. Microsoft’s space anchors support a range of hardware and operating systems, such as Microsoft HoloLens, iOS devices that support ARKit, and Android devices that support ARCore.

A user can use their mobile phones to create space anchors in various physical paces to create an environment; furthermore, the creator of that virtual space can also provide a virtual tour to other connected users simply by adding a spatial anchor to a particular place. The other connected users can view the whole virtual space on their mobile devices. It also can provide the user with audio content if the distance falls within a threshold range of the spatial anchor. However, the user cannot perceive the spatial anchor point that falls outside the camera’s view in the augmented reality or mixed reality environment.

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A computing device or computing system, such as a mobile device, or a head-mounted device, can execute the task. The camera of a device captures the first image data imaging of a physical world location. In the second stage, a first spatial representation of the first physical world location is created. The first spatial representation may take the form of a sparse point cloud containing the position or the orientation value captured on the device camera.

Users can also associate holograms or other virtual content with spatial anchors by receiving user input that describes the pose of the first hologram relative to the anchor point of the first virtual space. It also gives the users the freedom to create any number of space anchors in the physical world which means that the users also have the ability to associate any number of holograms with specific space anchors. To create a second virtual space based on two physical world positions, the device captures the tracking data of the device which describes the movement of the device between two physical positions.

The image data of the second physical world is captured similarly, creating a spatial representation of the same space. For associating holograms in the second spatial representation, the device receives input defining the pose of the space. Finally, the mobile sends the gathered data of the second spatial representation, the posture of the second virtual space anchor, and that of the second hologram to the network-accessible service. The data shared with the network is stored and it represents the first spatial representation, the posture of the first virtual space anchor point, and the posture of the first hologram.

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