Microsoft patent points to pressure-sensitive controller

USPTO filing reveals patent for "hand-held device having a body with a pressure-sensitive exterior surface"; this technology could be used with other devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and PCs.

Microsoft has filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for pressure-sensitive technology that could be used in devices such as smartphones, PCs, and video game controllers.

Microsoft is looking into pressure-sensitive controllers.

As spotted by Shacknews, the filing is for a "hand-held device having a body with a pressure-sensitive exterior surface" that could be used both in the context of a gaming controller, as well as in other devices.

The technology works by identifying a user based on a particular "pressure signature" on the device, which is fitted with pressure sensors. Each time a user grasps the device, the location of each sensor and the amount of pressure applied is recorded and stored, forming a unique signature. The pressure-profile signatures are associated with a user identity via username, email address, password, or gamertag, and are specific to the device.

Once identified, the technology could allow users to automatically log in to a gaming or mobile phone service and present an array of customised options.

"In another embodiment, the device is a mobile phone. Upon identifying the user holding the mobile phone, the technology unlocks the phone by providing the user's password, and displays the user's default screen," Microsoft's patent filing says.

According to the filing, this technology would allow for reliable and safe identification of individual users as well as provide for personalised content based on a user's unique pressure-profile signature.

Last November, Sony filed a patent for technology that could be used to develop biometric gaming controllers that read a player's state of mind.

Written By

Discussion

33 comments
JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Pressure sensative controller sounded quite interesting before I read it was to be used to identify who's using it. Having a game where the characters actions and movements are limited by how tightly you're holding the controller could be used nicely in a survival horror game or something, asuming people hold it tighter when they're angry or scared and whatnot... But just to identify seems like a waste of money especially since I don't always hold the controller in the same way, probably end up logging out every time you put the controller down to grab a drink, lol.

okassar
okassar

Imagine this with a Wii controller. I'd get a laugh out of people squeezing it hard and moving it up and down.

Raeldor
Raeldor

Awesome.  Could I have one in the shape of a breast?

TruthTellers
TruthTellers

Because there are no better ways for me to identify myself.

S_Pac_316
S_Pac_316

I don't want to have to squeeze a controller to perform actions. So no, I wouldn't like this very much.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

before they make this, can they first make a durable one that doesn't break when you strangle it to death in rage?

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

1) Companies submit patents all the time and

2) They almost never get used

 

Sony was notorious for filing crazy patents during the PS2 era.  There was always some rumour about some ridiculous new peripheral, but the only one that ever turned into anything was the eyetoy.

 

Also people saying "oh why can't I just have a standard controller" are dumb.  If companies just sat on their laurels we'd be doing the same thing over and over again until the industry went stagnant.  It's like if the entire industry was CoD or Assassin's Creed.

 

Until it's actually something bad, don't complain about it.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

Great. More overpriced gimmicks masquerading as controllers. Why can't we just have a simple, standard controller that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

TruthTellers
TruthTellers

How bout instead of looking into pressure-sensitive controllers, MS looks into how to make a controller not cost $50.

timizn5
timizn5

Pressure-sensitive i think is like digital signature.. more like of a stroke'.. just like dolphins technology they call it gesture..

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

"....that could be used in devices such as smartphones, PCs, and video game controllers."

 

GS, you missed the most important device and most likely the main focus for the pressure-sensitive patent.

 

Tablets!  

 

Windows 8 is designed with simply interfaced targeted towards Tablet devices (well known fact).  Having a pressure sensitive patent is most likely related to the tablet.  

 

At the moment, the 2 main types of touch-devices are resistive (pressure sensing) and capacitive (electrically charged).  Cell Phones like the Cingular (AT&T) 8525 had resistive screens (allowing you to use the dreaded stylus), where phones like the iPhone use capacitive (uses the charge from your finger to react with the screen).

 

There is room for newer technology when it comes to touch-screen devices.  Perhaps Microsoft has found something that works better than the current favorites. 

thisranks
thisranks

The last thing we need is another device on the market. Don't the developers already have enough on their plate with multiple consoles, multiple handhelds, and the PC market to deal with as it is?

 

You may say one more won't hurt.....but you would be wrong. If anything, i'd love to see one of the biggies knocked out of the console race or them coming together to create a universal console that would cut down on development costs across multiple systems.

Daian
Daian

For portable tech this could be great to prevent devices from being unlocked by the wrong people aka no reason to steal it if it can't be used. On a controller, it seems more of a gimmick than anything else.

GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

As if controllers aren't already expensive enough....

punkpunker
punkpunker

has no viable application in gaming..

GaMa__GaMer
GaMa__GaMer

I dont think controllers should have it

Hakkology
Hakkology

Okay so i can't read it i'm a little busy but when we play a fighting game we have to smash the button in order to make a combo ?

Sounds legit and a good way to crush products.

ShipwreckX
ShipwreckX

@Raeldor They tried that on one of the ataris

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

 @Raeldor Don't be so self-centered. John Travolta allegedly wants one in the shape of a masseur's crotch and crap hole.

albatraum
albatraum

 @Tremblay343 I think what people are getting at is this is actually bad, just another reason for them to charge more for controllers and it's not actually adding anything very useful.  I'm fine with actual improvements to a controller, but gimmicks not so much.

conspirethis
conspirethis

 @thisranks That would be just as bad for the gaming industry as centralized banking would be for the people.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

 @punkpunker 

Well if it's good enough to tell the difference between people if 2 people are taking turns on a game it could recognise who is who and switch the preferred control scheme for them

 

But yeah apart from that has no real gaming applications