Sony Patents A New And Strange Controller Design, New AR Applications


A newly discovered Sony patent has us very intrigued. The use of peripherals is steadily becoming less appealing, but the application of this new, strange technology could open up new avenues of AR gaming. The new patent details,

A block tool, which can be assembled by a user, is configured with multiple types of blocks and is shot by a camera for capturing a still image or a moving image. The position coordinates of a marker of the square-pillar block in a three-dimensional space are obtained by image recognition. Also, a connecting position and the type of each block, a gradient vector of the square-pillar block, an angle between two blocks constituting the square-pillar block, and the respective blocks’ lengths are obtained so as to derive the shape, posture, and position of the block tool, and corresponding information processing is then performed.

The rest of the verbiage within the patent goes into detail of how this specific invention could be utilized in an AR environment. This “build your own” style controller could be used in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera to bring a solid, interactive object into an augmented reality environment.

Many of the diagrams show different objects built using the block assembly method. Sensors located at pivot, or connection points would help the item take shape in the AR environment. The most practical of the diagrams shows the use of the block tool to create weapons. Different assemblages are interpreted by image recognition.

In my estimation these items could hypothetically be skinned to represent actual combat weaponry, or in the case of FIG.10 an animal. In effect, these items would help immerse the player into the projected AR environment by creating a physical connection to it, and possibly physical feedback if the controller makes use of haptics.

As always, there’s no guarantee this patent will see the light of day, but when we stumbled upon what we coined as PlayStation Remix, it turned out to be PlayStation Now.

Source: NeoGAF

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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  • Last__Life

    Yes I love this kind of weird innovation. Technology is stuck nobody takes risk anymore.

    • Steph

      Exactly the problem with the ps4

      • Rikus

        Not sure what you are on about. First, it seems like you criticize Sony for taking a risk (“Wtf? Classic sony try hard mode, make it and never support it after a month”) and then you either criticize the PS4 for being a weird innovation, or as stuck technology. In the case of the former, I would LOVE to hear how the PS4 is a weird innovation. In the case of the latter, you have just contradicted yourself.

  • extermin8or2

    this looks like a controller made out of those little cubes you probably used at primary school in maths classes :p Still could actually be a neat idea.

  • Steph

    Wtf? Classic sony try hard mode, make it and never support it after a month

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  • PatcherStation

    Ideas are turned in patents, this device might never be released. Sometimes, parts of a device surface in another device. Looks like Sony have set this device in stone (the patents). Reading some of the other comments, can’t say I’ve been impressed with the PS4, more so the controller, which feels better than all other PS controllers, but the build quality if lacking (hate to think what they look like inside). Replacement controllers topping £60, it’s a tragedy. Like with all PS controllers, it probably won’t hold up for long, more so for shooters and fighters. Many of the big review websites have also commented on the build quality etc. Games wise, I think it’s going to take a long time until a classic game comes along. I only wanted to play 3 games on the PS4, so now it’s on standby for new releases.

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  • Zack Wooten

    Too bad they didn’t put the money used for developing this into the PS4.