Sony has been awarded a patent for a new biometric game controller design. The controller has been designed to work with the company’s Playstation systems and would actually be able to sense the biometrics of a player such as perspiration, heart beat and muscle movements. These new controllers would look just like standard controllers, and Sony has not released any details of specific uses for the new devices.
This has led to wide ranging speculation among experts in the gaming industry over what they will be used for. Some have suggested that they would be used to detect player stress levels adjust the level of game play accordingly to suit the player’s mood. A good example would be a shooter game in which the player’s character is holding a weapon. As the player becomes more relaxed, the biometric controller would sense this and their character would hold the weapon with a steadier grip.
The new Sony patent is the latest indication that the video game industry is moving in the direction of biometrics, but gamers will have to wait a while for these devices to actually hit the market according to industry insiders. The announcement by Nintendo of their biometric Vitality Sensor caused a lot of buzz, only to disappoint everyone when it was delayed with no release date in sight. The same goes for the Ubisoft Innergy biometric controller design.
It’s no surprise that gamers may be a bit skeptical about the new Sony device, with some wondering whether it will also get cancelled before it’s ever released to the market. The Sony patent covers both biometric controllers for console gaming, and also for hand held systems which will be designed with built in biometric sensors.
The patent gives Sony the potential to get a jump on the market for biometric controllers, especially given the failed attempts of its competitors in the last few years. The Sony device features more advanced technology than the failed Wii Vitality Sensor from Nintendo, which clipped onto the player’s finger to measure biometric data. That project was cancelled due to the inconsistent performance of the device.
The new devices proposed by Sony will measure 3 unique biometric stats, which include galvanic skin resistance, electro muscular data and elector cardio data. All of this data will be transmitted and interpreted by the video game when the user simply holds the controller or hand held system in their hands.