High-tech Sony patent has gaming potential

New technology to change hardness, tension, shape of an object using electrical charges has possible gaming applications.

by

Barry Fox over at New Scientist makes a habit of rooting through patents, and his latest gathering of the new and novel ideas includes a Sony effort that might have big implications for games.

Sony's US Patent application 20060099808 describes an "electrorheological fluid device and an electronic apparatus, which realize satisfactorily changeable hardness or tension in a portion of the device or apparatus which a human body touches, enabling application to a product that needs to have portability."

Basically, the patent describes electronic devices and displays that are flexible enough to be rolled up or folded when not in use, but become rigid when a small electric current is passed through them. The application lists wide-ranging uses for the technology, and suggests it could be applied to cell phones, PDAs, PCs, remote controls, clocks, glasses, and even game systems.

"The electrorheological fluid device can be applied to, for example, part of a controller of a home-use game machine as another example of the electronic apparatus of the present invention. A user touches a control section of the controller by fingers, and the feeling of touch is controlled by the electrorheological fluid device. For example, if a game player is defeated in a fighting game, the electrorheological fluid device is controlled to become soft in order to improve the realistic sensations in the game."

As of press time, Sony representatives had not responded to GameSpot's requests for comment on the patent's planned uses.

Discussion

355 comments
g-master999
g-master999

Right, right. I read in an article that someday there could exist sheet-like TVs, but i never would have guessed an electric current would make it harden. That's pretty cool.

zeonne
zeonne

^^^^^^^^^^^^ to damariofan do ur research kid, microsoft rips sony more then sony does nintendo.....

MarcjinJaume
MarcjinJaume

For me it's obvious that the controllers that we have nowadays are too limited in comparison to the possibilities that a next gen game could have. An alternative would be using that strange suits that are used to make animation movies combined with virtual reality but that also has disadvantages. I've got other alternatives in mind but I don't want people to think that I'm mad so I'll reserve them to myself

damariofan
damariofan

wow, theyre not actually copying microsoft or nintendo this time.

fxmldr999
fxmldr999

Sounds like a move in the right direction to me.

frostlee
frostlee

Yo if they don;t show it being used a Tokyo Game Show i don't think they'll use it on the controller that would be good though sony needs their own innovation so what we took the wii's motion sensory and we took the xbox 360 home button they took it from us first the PSP had it first and no one really knows what the PS Logo thing will do yet and here more on the controller thing http://ps2.ign.com/articles/712/712149p1.html

bloodstoneangel
bloodstoneangel

interesting idea imagine its uses in total immersion VR clothing that reacts to touch in the game

Mcortijo01
Mcortijo01

Sounds good to me. They should give it a try, what's the worst that can happen? If it fails it fails at least they tried to do something different.

gitaruman
gitaruman

Whether this makes it to production or not, and what form it takes remains to be seen. But I like the fact that Sony is on the leading edge of new technology and look forward to seeing what they can come up with.

MaddDawg32
MaddDawg32

Yeah.. I'm not sure about it's uses with gaming but I think that it has a lot more potential with other practical life applications and future technological uses. If true it definately has potential.

vamroc
vamroc

There was an article writen about this substance I think it was call polypaper do to the fact that you could make huge rolls of it. The process to make it was similar to paper only instead of wood you used conductive polymers that were sandwiched in between thin layers of sillicon

emadayag
emadayag

is this the rumble pack replacement?

dorris123456
dorris123456

hmm if you wrapped it around your head you could get a simple 360 degree screen

bob_dartagnan
bob_dartagnan

Ah! Its a sex toy! Good Job Sony!! The Internets for Porn!

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

They could use this technology for a DDR dance pad that you can roll out and hardens into a platform to dance on. That would be COOL!

ghsacidman
ghsacidman

But really, who cares? Sure it sounds cool, but will it have tons of glitches, not work right, and probably break..... yes. Sony doesn't have a good track record with new inventions.

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

Finally! A seemingly original idea from Sony! See Sony? Doesn't it feel good to come up with your own ideas, rather than stealing your competitors?

Seifer_Denmark0
Seifer_Denmark0

JimBones0 : ''This proves that Sony doesn't have a clue on how to innovate (hence, they copy). Nintendo's ideas later become industry standards. This "innovation", well... it's nuts.'' that's almost the same thing as saying: every single console ever to be created(or have been) are nothing but NES ripoffs.

shizwill03
shizwill03

Whatever that is it sounds pretty damn cool. But when or IF this gets formed into some sort device is the real question. Probably far off towards the next generation in 4-5 years.

GKBeetle
GKBeetle

Sony is just doing this to try and copy Batman! Why don't they think up an original idea. LOL!!! I hope nobody thinks I'm serious. Anyway, no idea how this could be used for gaming. hopefully someone can use it for something cool for gamers. Sounds too high tech to be used just for games, however, but who knows.

venus577
venus577

DDR pads with the portability of softpads, but the durability of hard pads anyone?

confu2000
confu2000

A potential use for something like this is in force feedback. It gives the possibility of a thin strip you could say put in a glove. Apply electricity and the strip stiffens and as a result pushes on your finger in the glove. Alternatively, use it as a backing for buttons. Apply current and the button becomes harder to push.

nathanfist
nathanfist

Now this is an innovation for Sony. Throw out the motion sensetive controller, that's Nintendo's. This..... is something new and add more realism in the game.

dodgyd55
dodgyd55

[quote]pedro_magalhaes Haha this is funny. Did anyone see Batman Begins? Batman's wings used the same idea. They get hard when current goes through them. Anyway, let's see what they can do with it.[/quote] lol i was thinking the same thing

metdevthegamer
metdevthegamer

I don't see it doing real well at all for games or anything, but more power to them if they want to take a risk by using this technology in any of their company divisions. Hell, they can make clothes that fold with a touch with this; no risk in that.

philho
philho

It's not that bad an idea to me, but i honestly can't see it being a popular feature, or really feasible in general for gaming. Good luck to them if they use it, but i just don't think it'd really make that big a difference to gaming, it could well be too hard to control perfectly and make realistic textures.

Andron666
Andron666

It would be stupid to dismiss this idea right out. You never know how things might turn out.

miggidy24
miggidy24

Ok so first Sony creates the world first DP sex toy controller. And now they might be working on a joystick that can go from soft to hard? LOL.... Bad Sony, bad. Ken Kutaragi you perverted old man you hahaha....

solidskorpion
solidskorpion

whatever it is, they should call it the Sony "Sushi" !!!

DieHardTWB
DieHardTWB

Sounds more science fiction than science fact.

mad_tyger
mad_tyger

Weird . . . it would be cool if it worked . . . if it worked . . .

dmon8988
dmon8988

i doubt sony means it for games.

rbarahona
rbarahona

WOW!!! That would definitely be another kind of interfacing with the games. It would be very nice if Sony could develop a controller for the PS3 with this technology.

fjp500
fjp500

ugh its ok i guess but what if sum1 keeps it rolled up for a long time will it be like paper it wont stay straight anymore get back to me on that cuz i want to know

brothaval
brothaval

meh, i'd like to see how this drives the PS3's price range up (anyone up for paying $800 for a console?)

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

sounds kinda cool. too bad sony has a patent on it. (sony is dead)

DeathgiverX
DeathgiverX

I apologize in advance for the nerdy anime reference, but: Realistic G Gundam battles anyone? That is what came to my mind first.

skeetz1609
skeetz1609

wow that picture is inspirational

CaptainLunchbox
CaptainLunchbox

this is like memory metals and fabrics and plastics. i dont see how this is a "Sony Innovation"...

De_Theodorus
De_Theodorus

Now this sounds like a smart idea. I'm SO gonna lose my tv in a corner of my room. :s

jonnyjd
jonnyjd

I would like to know how they intend to use this.

ZakoZako311
ZakoZako311

Sounds alright but I feel this type of patent would have more use in things other then entertainment purposes. It might be used in medical or military manners. This could have a larger future then to amuse us.

imop45
imop45

OK, I couldn't find the link, but I deputed in 2003.

Frizkit
Frizkit

ELECTRORHEOLOGICAL FLUID DEVICE...mmm............................................................................................................. WELCOME TO THE 21st CENTURY!!! GO SONY

imop45
imop45

They can't make a role up TV, because it has already been made, and that company has all of the patents!!!

imop45
imop45

bdavenport said: "this technolodgy isnt new. " That's right. They already have an LCD screen (patented obviuosly) that's made out of this material. It's about 5 years old! I have a link to this stuff, also. The screen can roll up while an image is being showed. It looks good to, although it's Black & White only and uses very little electricity, which is great for portable things.