Apple has recently filed a patent to address the issue of virtual vandalism in the metaverse, in preparation for the launch of its mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro. The patent application describes a scenario in which an avatar enters another user’s digital home and defaces it with virtual spray paint. To combat this, Apple’s patent proposes a solution that allows the victim to virtually erase the graffiti.
This is not the first time Apple has filed a patent to protect users in virtual reality environments. In 2021, the company filed a patent to prevent intruders and digital bullies from harassing users in the metaverse. The new patent takes it a step further by allowing users to make intruders and their unwanted content disappear from their virtual space.
The patent states that when certain social interaction criteria are breached, the avatars and related content can become partially or fully invisible. This approach aims to provide users with greater control over their virtual environments and ensure a more enjoyable experience.
While these patents may seem mundane, they are crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of users in the metaverse. Harassment and bullying are prevalent issues, especially among younger users. The overwhelming presence of underage users in platforms like Meta’s Horizon Worlds highlights the need for protective measures.
However, it is not only children who face uncomfortable situations in virtual environments. Adults can also subject fellow avatars to harassment. As virtual reality experiences aim to feel incredibly real, it is essential for tech companies to prevent users from being unable to differentiate between virtual and real harassment.
Apple’s patent serves as a proactive step towards creating a safer and more enjoyable metaverse experience for all users. By addressing the issue of virtual vandalism, the company aims to provide users with the tools they need to protect their digital spaces and foster a more positive virtual environment.