Sony Files Patent Application For Biometric Controller

By Joseph Mandour on November 7, 2011

game-controller-200x150 Orange County – Sony recently filed a patent application with the USPTO disclosing a biometric video-game controller capable of detecting a gamer’s stress level by reading skin moisture, heart rate, and muscle movement. As the console video-gaming industry continues to develop, leaders Microsoft (Xbox 360), Nintendo (Wii), and the makers of PlayStation 3 Sony have struggled to outdo one another. Nintendo expanded the gamer demographic by marketing the Wii and its unique gameplay to families while Microsoft and Sony focused on increasing graphical capabilities and game complexity. However, Sony and Microsoft have been forced to refocus their efforts due to the success of the Nintendo Wii. Microsoft introduced the Kinnect system, a controller-less movement detecting gameplay device. Now Sony is entering the fray with a controller that detects the physical state of the gamer.

Sony hopes that its new controller will make gameplay on the Sony PlayStation 3 and subsequent Sony systems more immersive. As recent trends in console gaming have favored deeply immersive games with massive playable worlds and limitless challenges, Sony hopes that its new controller will help to break down another brick in the wall between the player and the game, allowing the gamer to be completely absorbed into a game’s fictional world. While the Nintendo Wii has taken a different path, developing and marketing numerous games that can be picked up and played for only a few minutes, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems have been marketed for use with increasingly complex games.

The sensor controller would allow communication between the gamer’s physical reaction to the gameplay and the game itself. Possibilities for the controller and gameplay include recognizing muscle tension to activate a character’s defenses or shields or adopting background music to fit the gamer’s stress level. Extremetech.com writers state that the gaming industry has wanted to move in this direction for several years and that the biometric controller will help assure that the gamer stays involved in the game.

Nintendo apparently tried a similar technology, the Wii Vitality Sensor which functioned as a fingertip pulse detector. However, despite being announced by Nintendo in 2009, the Wii Vitality Sensor controller has yet to be released.

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Posted in: Patent Registration