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CTC Submits Patent Application for Innovative Virtual Reality Platform

PolyFormXR automatically creates physical infrastructure for VR experiences

A cross-discipline team came up with a creative solution for a unique virtual reality platform. Pictured with one of the PolyFormXR columns that CTC manufactured are (l to r) John Wass, Jeremy Brougher, Dave Hockenberry, Ron Punako, and Dave Luciew.

Johnstown, PA April 23, 2019

Think of it as making a virtual world – more real.

Senior Mixed Reality Research Engineer Ron Punako created the idea for PolyFormXR™, which automatically builds physical infrastructure to correspond with what is created using Extended Reality (XR) equipment, so that those navigating the virtual environment will be able to negotiate the structures in it.

“PolyFormXR has both military and entertainment applications,” said Punako. “For military trainers, it can create the illusion of a sprawling area of operation for urban mission rehearsal training exercises for dismounted soldiers. For entertainment operators, it can assist creation of many different virtual-physical correlated fictional worlds that may be rotated many times throughout a business day, as needed.”

Put simply, a user has a virtual environment on their own XR equipment. The PolyFormXR software measures the heights of objects in that virtual world and then its smart surface hardware recreates the object shapes in the real world to represent infrastructure such as walls, windows, doors, stairs, chairs, etc., using a grid of moving neighboring columns. After the physical recreation is complete, participants put on their XR equipment and experience the target virtual world with both virtual and tactile components.

“It may be the world’s first true holodeck. A space that starts with nothing and then creates the matter underlying visualizations where you want it, on-demand,” said Punako.

CTC has completed the process for submitting a utility patent for PolyFormXR, which covers the invention as a modular, scalable apparatus that that measures the heights of 3D models and then extrudes corresponding 3D topologies for various purposes, including for use in XR.

“A key significance for us is that it’s a cross-discipline effort. We had planned on purchasing the columns, but we couldn’t find anything that would work. Jeremy Brougher and his team came up with a unique CAD design, which they then produced; so instead of buying something, we produced it ourselves. That unique design could generate its own patent,” said Punako.

Read more about PolyFormXR here.
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