There's a new trend emerging in computing that could breathe new life and some badly needed excitement back to the Desktop once again. The trend involves integrating advanced 3D scanners and projectors into the desktop so that artists of every stripe could unleash their creativity in ways once thought unimaginable. HP just released a next-gen desktop computer that incorporates these technologies and they call it Sprout. This week we discovered a Sony patent filing at the U.S. Patent Office that takes this HP-like concept but applies it to a next-generation video conferencing system experience. It uses a similar tower camera/scanner approach as HP's Sprout does to allow users to share documents, graphics and more in real time with a colleague having a similar system. Sony's system also differs from the HP system in that it utilizes large transparent desktop displays that add a measure of realism to the whole conferencing experience so that you'll swear that the person you're conferencing with is in the same room as you. While today's report covers the basics of Sony's patent, it's really about seeing the bigger picture of where this new trend may be going. Some really refreshing ideas are beginning to surface about the future of the desktop – and it's certainly about time.
The US Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Sony revealing the company's latest advances in a future head-tracking headset. Sony's patent application illustrates a camera-based head tracking system which tracks a gamer's head using specialty illuminated glasses for future PlayStation video game play. Parts of the system will first appear in the upcoming Sony PS4. This will possibly allow the system to evolve into a headset sometime in the future.
The real gaming console wars begin this fall and some are already saying that Sony's PS4 has the edge over Microsoft's Xbox One. The good news for PlayStation fans is that Sony is already working on an alternative game controller that will be geared to play advanced 3D games. The alternate gaming controller Sony has in mind will include a new secondary touch panel sitting in between a user's thumbs. In addition, Sony introduces a new 3D control bar button to initiate advanced 3D action to control weapons, vehicles and more.
Ever since Apple overtook the Walkman with the iPod, Sony has been looking for ways to introduce another wow-product that could put Sony back into the game. Sony has been trying to get their ebook readers to be a hit but keep getting out-maneuvered by Amazon's Kindle. Sony's latest eBook readers couldn't even make CNET's top five eBook readers for Christmas list last year and came in last on PC Magazine's list. To put Sony on top of everyone's eBook list will take one thing: Real innovation. Perhaps the kind of innovation that their latest patent on this subject is illustrating. Sony has designed a next generation e-Book that uses bendable displays in a unique 2-page styled ebook design that I think you'll find to be very cool.
On March 21, 2013 The US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Sony revealing a general computing Head Mounted Display (HMD) or Glass project. While most of Sony's Head Mounted Display or Glass patent filings to date have been primarily aimed at future gaming, we now discover that Sony has been working on a different kind of Glass project since early 2008 for general computing.
The US Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Sony revealing a new universal design for 3D glasses that could work with Sony's Bravia 3D HDTV line up or other brands such as Panasonic, Toshiba, LG and others. The technology will work with spectacles or even a 3D gaming helmet. The timing to market for these next generation Head Mounted systems with their easy to use pluggable modules is unknown at this time. If we're lucky, we just might catch a glimpse of some of their patent pending technology showing up at either their upcoming special event in February or at the E3 Expo held in June. Time will tell.
On February 7, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Sony that is technically about the PlayStation Vita and their new and upcoming connectors. Sony states that the connectors are for "connecting the electronic apparatus to peripheral apparatuses" at the bottom and side surfaces of the device housing. Sony's patent filing specifically states that the next generation PS Vita will gain USB, HDMI and a power supply connector described as a parallelepiped connector.
This year's Intel keynote at CES was deadly focused on their "Game Changing Year Ahead." It's the year that they finally release their all-new from the grounds-up Haswell processor specifically designed to power the next generation convertible Ultrabooks. The convertible notebooks will allow the display to act as a tablet by turning it around on a pivotal hinge or to detach it altogether from the keyboard. I got to see HP's new Envy X2 last night and was totally taken aback as to how cool, how thin and how light the detachable display really was. It felt like it was about half the weight of a 9.7 inch iPad. The next generation Ultrabooks hold a lot of promise and in a new patent application filed by Sony this month, we're shown a couple of the ideas that they have up their sleeve for this new computer category. Their biggest revelation of all is their plan to use solar cells in quite an elaborate design.
In a recent patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, we see that Sony has been working on a new hybrid PlayStation controller. The proposed hybrid gaming controller is described as integrating Sony's current "Move Motion Controller" accessory into this future controller. The new controller is additionally described as being able to split into two distinct parts for the gamer's right and left hands. This way games that require the gamer to engage in a fistfight could do so naturally with each part of the controller acting as the gamer's fists. Another example could be where one half of the controller could be used as a shield while the other half used as a sword. If you happen to be an enthusiastic gamer, then I'm sure you'll be able to use your imagination to envision other gaming scenarios for this future hybrid controller. While the hybrid controller could be viewed as a simple and natural evolutionary move on Sony's part, one has to keep in mind that Sony has several major patents for varying future gaming console components and/or concepts on the drawing board. Which of their advancements will eventually surface in the next PlayStation is anyone's guess at this point in time. Yet with "ultra-high definition" televisions displayed at CES this past week with resolutions that will blow Sony's Blu-ray 1080p standard out of the water, we should at least expect Sony to address these next-generation resolution advancements at E3 this summer.
It appears that the next generation of smart device form factors will include dual displays that will be both flexible and foldable. These new form factors will create very powerful hybrid devices that will truly function as highly advanced video-conferencing smartphones and higher end e-Books. The new devices will give new meaning to multi-tasking as users will be able to video conference using one display while taking notes or juggling a work app on the flipside display simultaneously. Powerful new trends usually start with a flurry of intellectual property activity as companies seek to protect their latest and greatest ideas for future devices and services from being copied. One of the most powerful trends that we see emerging at the ground level today involves dual display smartphones and e-Books. The new form factors will create killer hybrid device categories that will drive new service and application opportunities for savvy developers. In today's report we take a look at new patent filings from Microsoft, Samsung and Sony regarding their respective next generation dual display device form factors. Specifically, each company is focusing on how they could best provide these next-generational devices with a reliable book-like spine that could be a make-it or break-it feature for these next-gen devices.
First there was WALL-E the movie quickly followed by lookalike toys for Christmas 2008. The adorable robot obviously inspired engineers at Sony to work on a next generation mechatronic device that is specifically seen as a tool for future seniors and/or next generation nursing home facilities. This particular invention zeros in on safety issues as well as the mechanics behind the robotic limbs to include brakes and the use of actuators. Of course, Sony also has to ensure that the robots don't go haywire while in the care of seniors in their homes. Sony states that "In the case of an industrial robot, separating the working area with a fence generally ensures the safety. However, separating the working area with a fence is difficult in the case of a housekeeping or nurse caring robot because the robot behaves while physically in contact with an individual." Today's mega-capitalists are definitely driven to kill off more human filled jobs each and every year while trying to not kill off their future clients, the wealthy elderly.
Last month we reported on a recent Sony patent regarding the use of gaze based technology in future gaming. Today we present you with a really wild idea that's a creative offshoot of gaze technology. A gamer wearing the magnetized contact lenses will be tracked by certain role playing games (RPG) on a next generation gaming console so as to put the gamer right into the action at a much higher degree of intimacy. Next generation gaming as envisioned by both Sony and Microsoft definite paint a cool gaming future.
According to a new report posted today by Tricia Duryee of AllThingsD, Microsoft's Xbox holds a commanding 56 percent of the current generation of gaming consoles sold today. Microsoft states that the Xbox has been the best-selling videogame console for 22 straight months. That certainly puts a lot of pressure on Sony that was once the console leader. A series of new Sony patents have come to light of late that tell us that Sony's engineering teams are looking at wide spectrum of new technologies that could advance their platform in the coming years. Today's report focuses in on two new Sony PlayStation controllers that integrate both a camera and advanced nerve sensors.
In September Microsoft presented their vision of future gaming and it was a wild ride to read about to be sure. Today, we take a look at what Sony has on their mind for advancing gaming from one of their more recent patent filings. While it's definitely a different vision from Microsoft's, it's equally fascinating in shear scope. Sony envisions a day when your physical controller will be replaced or enhanced with a combination of a human gaze, a voice command, hand gesturing and even telekinetic-like powers. The latter, believe or not, is based on using the gamers own brainwaves that are picked up by an apparatus hidden on the inside of a new gaming headset. And if you're thinking that this will never happen, then think again. We have a video that proves it's already working in early testing.
While Google and Microsoft appear to have definite plans of bringing their respective video glasses to market over the next year or so, we've yet to officially hear from Sony. Microsoft's game plan is to directly tie their future video glasses to the next generation Xbox experience putting pressure on Sony to respond in kind. At the moment, the public may aware of Sony's new "personal 3D Viewer" that works with the Playstation, but they may not be aware that Sony has several versions of video glasses on the drawing board as well. In March of this year, before any of the hoopla over video glasses hit the market, one of Sony's patents regarding video glasses surfaced in relation to video gaming. In fact, Sony has been working on video glasses since 2008. So this isn't new to them in the least. Now a second patent has surfaced and this time around Sony is expanding their vision for their future video glasses to not only support "portable gaming" but also to function as an advanced camera-communications device that could have a rippling effect in several unexpected markets over the next decade.
A 2012 patent reveals that Sony is working on a new 3D Controlling System for differing markets and levels of gaming. Some have written about this patent before but have missed the boat entirely. Sony's proposed 3D controller will add great depth to video gaming in general and multiplayer gaming in particular. Sony is even thinking of adding 3D video-centric glasses to the mix over time. On another level, it's simply a potential Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect Killer. At the end of the day, if you love 3D video gaming and especially multi-player gaming – then you won't want to miss out on our report.
Even though it's been called the idiot box by all of us at one point in time, it's still where many of us end up in front of when our never ending day gives us an hour or two to kill. All we want is to turn off the net and get a little entertainment that's a little more polished – be it a movie, TV show, video game or even a little music. The biggest and coolest thing to come to TV of late has been the shift to the flat screen. Playing video games on these units in 1080p is just phenomenal. Yet the question always is: what's next? In today's report we take a look at four recent Sony patents that definitely provide us with a peek at what they're working on. Some of the ideas are rather interesting and are bound to be features that we'll all take for granted in just a matter of years. And again we'll ask the same old question: What's next? When it comes to the idiot box we're still hopeful that one day it will joint its brethren in the smart-device category. Yes, the smart TV is coming to a showroom near you, one day; and all of us idiots just said Amen.