There is a long list of uses for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, including immersive gaming, medical imaging, visualising buildings and other environments, guiding robots and remote vehicles, amongst many others. It was interesting to read about this trial of the application of AR/VR technologies to healthcare, particularly in the use of AR/VR technologies to address pain, anxiety and phobias. Whilst it may not work for all, it seems that it can bring benefits to some and potentially be another tool in the set for people with these conditions.
Particularly interesting was the developer's comments that "Framing it like a video game, we are in the arcade era". I think that many would agree that AR/VR is still in a phase of significant technological advancement. Patent applications can be a measure of technological innovation and, at Marks & Clerk, we handle a significant number of patent applications in the AR/VR space, both in fundamental AR/VR enabling technologies and in the application of AR/VR to a range of applications such as medical imaging, defence, remote system control and entertainment, amongst others. From our filing data, we can see that the number of patent filings in the AR/VR space have been growing significantly in recent years as innovators seek to improve their systems and take on board market feedback.
These innovations can be highly valuable and patent protection provides one option for protecting the skill, insight and investment needed to realise those innovations.
As such, when creating those innovations that are moving us out of the arcade era, the reality is that considering IP protection for your innovations might help you on that journey.