"In addition to a location, proper rendering of an object or avatar may depend on an orientation or attitude of the object or avatar. An attitude is an overall orientation of an object or avatar in relation to a plane or a vector. For example, an attitude may be based on a number of degrees that an object is offset from a positive direction along a coordinate axis. For virtual worlds that form analogs to a real world, north and south compass points may correspond to a positive direction along a first axis and a negative direction along the axis. East and west may be represented in a similar manner, along a second axis perpendicular to the first axis. A third axis may correspond to height. Attitudes may also include offsets of inclination above a plane.
"Some virtual worlds are organized to present an avatar within a three dimensional environment. Such virtual worlds may provide a 'first person point of view.' Within a first person point of view, a client computer renders scenery to a two dimensional screen to produce a three dimensional illusion or effect. An example of a three dimensional illusion includes diminishing the size of an object as the object becomes relatively distant from the avatar's position in the virtual world. Another example of a three dimensional illusion is displaying a nearer object as obscuring a more distant object. Each of these illusions is controlled by rendering rules. Rendering rules are a set of rules or steps that a client computer executes to display the two-dimensional image such that the display provides impressions of depth that users expect to see in real life scenery.
"Many virtual worlds provide a user a teleport feature that permits a user to change an avatar location. The changed location causes a perspective of the avatar to change, and thus changes a screen image of the virtual world. The perspective may cause objects to be rendered to show the objects at different orientations and distances from the avatar. The perspective may cause formerly rendered objects to be obscured by other objects. Likewise, the perspective may cause formerly rendered objects to be so distant that the objects are not rendered in the second perspective. In this case, a client computer renders a new set of objects to the user's computer display screen.
"Scenery and renderings may change in a virtual world in response to movements of objects within such a world. Avatars are a class of objects that move. Other objects may move, for example, virtual trees may move in response to a modeled wind, and virtual water may flow in response to modeling of gravity and fluid dynamics. Each object can be modeled to varying levels of complexity and detail according to the geometry provided to a data processing system, and a processing power of the data processing system. Typically, a virtual world server renders a scene in response to inputs made by users. For example, a first user that logs into a virtual world server may be presented a view that includes avatars that move in response to movements and commands given by users that each control one or more avatars in the virtual area that the user has entered.
"In addition to advances in providing collectivized simulations of real environments in a virtual world, engineers have provided increasingly sophisticated ways to track inventory in the real world. For example, bar code is now giving way to marking assets with
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention provides a computer implemented method and apparatus to receive an update signal corresponding to an
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Banerjee,
Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Processing,
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