If there's one company that the Sony PlayStation division is fearful of, it's Oculus. Last year Patently Apple covered the Oculus special event introducing their new gaming head mounted display system along with their revolutionary hand controllers called 'Oculus Touch' and more. Last week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Sony covering a similar smart headset for gaming. The patent puts emphasis on a new peripheral glove designed to work in tandem with their future headset that understands hand gestures for moves and beyond. Sony has to push fast and hard to get this to market quickly if it doesn't want to lose their fan base to Oculus.
Sony's Patent Background
Video game developers have been coding games that incorporate sophisticated operations and mathematics to produce a very realistic game experience. A growing trend in the computer gaming industry is to develop games that increase the interaction between the user and the gaming system.
One way of accomplishing a richer interactive experience is to use wireless game controllers whose movement is tracked by the gaming system in order to track the player's movements and use these movements as inputs for the game. Generally speaking, gesture input refers to having an electronic device such as a computing system, video game console, smart appliance, etc., react to some gesture made by the player and captured by the electronic device.
Another way of accomplishing a more immersive interactive experience is to use a head-mounted display. A head-mounted display is worn by the user and can be configured to present various graphics, such as a view of a virtual space. The graphics presented on a head-mounted display can cover a large portion or even all of a user's field of view. Hence, a head-mounted display can provide a visually immersive experience to the user. Below is Sony's rough concept of a head mounted display.
Another growing trend in the industry involves the development of cloud-based gaming systems. Such systems may include a remote processing server that executes a game application, and communicates with a local thin client that can be configured to receive input from users and render video on a display.
Sony's Invention: Glove Interface Object
Sony's invention generally covers a glove interface object that will enable a user to interact with an interactive application, such as a video game. The glove interface object can incorporate various types of devices to facilitate various types of functionality.
Sony's patent FIG. 1B illustrates a system for interactive gameplay of a videogame. A close-up view of a glove interface object #104 is shown. In some implementations, the glove interface object can include a bracelet #120, having various devices and components defined therein. For example, the bracelet can include a light or illuminated object #122, which can be tracked to identify the location and or orientation of the glove interface object in the interactive environment based on analysis of captured images of the interactive environment including the glove interface object. In one embodiment, the bracelet includes a light controller #124 that is configured to control the operation of the light #122. By way of example, the color, intensity, on/off state, and other attributes of the light can be controlled. The patent figure also shows how the bracelet may take on different light configurations as noted in #130a-d.
In some implementations, the glove interface object includes flex sensors which are capable of detecting the amount of flexing of the user's fingers.
In some implementations, the glove interface object includes pressure sensors, mounted to various locations such as the fingertips and/or the palm, which are capable of detecting when pressure is applied to such areas, and the magnitude of such pressure.
In some implementations, the glove interface object includes touch switches, which are configured to detect contact between one portion of the user's hand and another portion of the same hand or the user's other hand. For example, touch switches may detect when a user's thumb touches any of the other fingers on the same hand, and/or when any of those other fingers touches the palm of the user's hand.
In some implementations, the glove interface object includes an index-thumb touchpad that is configured to detect contact between the user's thumb and the side of the index finger, and define variable input based on the location along the side of the index finger that is being contacted by the thumb.
A glove interface object may be utilized as a glove controller for a video game. However, it should be understood that the glove interface object does not necessarily have to be a controller utilized for playing games, but may be used for interfacing with virtual objects on a display screen viewable by a user, and for any other suitable purpose for which input defined from the glove interface object may be applied. It should be appreciated that the present invention can be implemented in numerous ways, such as a process, an apparatus, a system, a device or a method on a computer readable medium. Several inventive embodiments of the present invention are described below.
Sony filed their patent application back in October 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
A Note for Tech Sites covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Patently Mobile presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. About Posting Comments: Patently Mobile reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments.