Sony patent points to biometric controllers

PlayStation creator's application would cover controllers that read a player's state of mind to drive dynamic responses from software.

In 2009, Nintendo signaled its intention to explore another avenue of user interface with the Vitality Sensor, a peripheral that would monitor a player's pulse and use that information in games. While that add-on is still unreleased, a recent patent application (as spotted by Siliconera) shows that Sony may be interested in testing similar waters.

Sony described console controllers and even a handheld with built-in biometric sensing equipment.

Filed in December of 2010, the application reveals design diagrams for three different biometric controllers. Biometric-equipped versions of a DualShock 3 and PlayStation Move controller are represented, as is a handheld PlayStation Vita-like device. The patent description details controllers that would read a player's bio-signal data as a form of input.

Bio-data would be captured, analyzed, and then used to alter the setting or state of the software or game. This would potentially allow for automation of various settings related to a player's comfort level and state of mind. It could also allow for software to cater to the player's moment-to-moment experience on an individual basis.

In the application, Sony described a number of potential uses for this technology. Examples included reading a user's stress level to dynamically adjust a game's difficulty, increasing a weapon's accuracy if a player's level of frustration reaches a certain threshold, and in-game characters that can respond to the player's current state of mind.

Written By

Want the latest news about PlayStation 3?

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3

Follow

Discussion

214 comments
GTA-Like_Fan
GTA-Like_Fan

They should make it so that when you get really angry at a game the device laugh at you or tells you ``calm down dude, its just a game`` to make you more angry lol And if you get really angry and get too close it tells you ``Plz dont hurt me`` or ``I'm worth 300 $``

GTA-Like_Fan
GTA-Like_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

LoL interesting....i look forward to seeing how this plays out. :)

MelodicMizery
MelodicMizery

how is this sensor going to work for the majority of the world that now is diagnosed with anxiety and depression and who feel in a hyped up scared anxious mood all day regardless of whats going on? cool idea but would of been more efficient 30 years ago when gaming first started and people werent as messed up in the head like me

killlo
killlo

I think this sensor think will go great with games like FEAR the game will senses when you're relax and scare the crap out of you or something like :)

FusionRain
FusionRain

@hatieshorrer They stated that in the post above. First paragraph.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

I swear folks are taking the difficulty thing far too literally :/ There'll be an option to play without guys geesh. Reducing the difficulty will just be aimed at those struggling - I'd imagine when you start a game you can activate 'assist' as such. Calm down little kiddiewinkles. Wait until we hear more.

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

@Keaze_ Yes, and motion controls had been around years before the Wii made them extremely popular. That doesn't mean that they were great or effective in any way. But they were there. Then Nintendo found a way to make them popular. This is the same idea. Yeah, sure, this kind of thing has been around a while, but as an effective technology that could be used in conjunction with effective entertainment? Not really. I think your grasp on the technology is small. There is huge potential for this game to directly effect gameplay. With today's graphical capabilities and all the facial capturing technology we have and sensing technology being developed, this can be used for more than just to "provoke one of lets say 3 different interactions from an enemy/monsters". Think of Heavy Rain, and how this kind of technology could affect that game, or Deus Ex Human Revolution and how this technology could come into play. There are a number of minute ways this technology could be used that could have great effect on the gameplay. It's just another step into making games less like video games and more like alternate reality experiences.

poncho174
poncho174

they should make it so it shocks you when your character gets hit. maybe that's just me but I think it would be cool and definitely hard core.

Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

So YEAH that's a good idea, make the game easier the more crazed you get? As if spouting obscenities and frothing at the mouth in unadulterated apopaleptic fury is really something to be encouraged, Oh and btw how about I dunno making GAMES better? exploring THAT realm sound like a good idea? fancy hardware doesn't sell a system with crap for games afterall.

revs0up
revs0up

im psychotic ... so that means all my games will be excruciatingly boring - i'll pass

moviequest14
moviequest14

For anyone who has seen the actual picture of the supposed controller it eerily resembles a wii-u controller... I find things are getting a bit out of hand...for anyone who has also seen the examples of use Sony has given 90% of these are to end up punishing you for stressing out...(ie making your weapons less useful when stressed,reducing accuracy etc.) call me crazy but I though the controller wasn't actually supposed to be the one in control here,maybe I'm old fashioned but I don't think it is my controllers business to tell me how well my weapons should/shouldn't work or what type of music my subconscious wants playing..don't blame the competition when your ps4 is going all hal on you ...

weedman1985
weedman1985

Maybe next they will invent a controller that plays the game for you. Seriously, this is getting a bit ridiculous. I hope this is not what Sony is aiming for, and if they are, I hope nobody buys into it. If I want my game to do something for me, I'd tell it so. Interaction, that's what sets gaming apart from movies.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Im amazed that no one is stating the obvious that this is a less intrusive version of Nintendos vitality sensor.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I'm not sure I want to enter in to that state of gaming. Kinda scary. Makes me think of Lawnmower man for some reason. lol

mkdoomfan2
mkdoomfan2

Me: although this is interesting, i think i will just stick to my normal controller. nothing is more exciting then playing an intense war game with rumble on. thanks though sony! :D Sony: the normal controller does not rumble anymore, it cost to much to make. Me:.....SON OF A BIT-

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

I'm okay with a chip in my head as long as I get to download into a new body when this one wear's out!

kobrakai1612
kobrakai1612

Your accuracy increases when you're frustrated? That's just going to frustrate everyone! Please just bring out a regular Dualshock 4, Sony...it's worked so far.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Mind control in video games... brilliant. Next they'll want to implant a chip in our foreheads and hands to truly experience games in '5D'

dizzyrhino
dizzyrhino

Microsoft have managed to get cameras that monitor us at all times into our homes, and now Sony will be reading our minds. George Orwell would be proud

rattboy666
rattboy666

Oh good I can't wait for Origin to get a hold of this technology so I need to stick my dick inside the PC in order to get my games to launch.

Taegre
Taegre

Is the disgruntled facial expression part of the patent or what?

DarknautXXX
DarknautXXX

Managing difficulty based on stress level? How the heck would you fully enjoy an immersive horror game like Doom or Dead Space when the difficulty gets easier every time a freakish monster jumps out at you?

koorkoor
koorkoor

That's actually a good idea. But depending on how creative the developers will be about it, it could be a step forward in gaming, or just another mostly-sucks/unused feature like the SIXAXIS

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

@mischiefmeerkat - Oh it's already here.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Nintendo's ideas taken to the furthest extent. PS4 = First mind reading console?

TheGreatmars
TheGreatmars

@vallan2 actually this will make you focus more and try not to get stressed so you can pass the level (ex: like in amnesia when your character gets stressed the monsters find you easier so with this not only your character but you too need to keep calm ) i know some people don't like hard games but in my case as long as it is not frustrating/impossible hard, i like the game more and it is more satisfying when you beat it ;)

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

Down the rabbit hole we go!

mischiefmeerkat
mischiefmeerkat

Brainwave recording and thought control. Closer than you think. =>

rarson
rarson

Sounds kind of interesting, but I doubt it will work all that effectively in practice, assuming developers even bother to support it at all. My guess is that this will end up as a next-gen feature.

Bowser05
Bowser05

Sounds like an interesting idea that if done right could prove amazing. I'll wait to see how it pans out before I really get interested though.

LunchSackSal
LunchSackSal

JUST WAIT!! until EA gets ahold of this and makes you insert strange things into your body before you can play Battlefield 4... seriously.

moej88
moej88

Seriously ? Which developer will make use of these features at all ? Unless its an exclusive to Sony then I doubt it will be ever used.

eddieham13
eddieham13

If they do implement this and it changed the difficulty, how are you meant to get better at the game if they make it easier as soon as you come across the first hurdle.

SciFiCat
SciFiCat

Game: -Biometric readings indicate optimal conditions for heart attack- Release Zombie Dogs.

bperry34
bperry34

We were just talking about this in grad school. Interesting.

9Dguy
9Dguy

Not sure if cool new feature or first step toward GLaDOS putting us in test chambers

shortsword81
shortsword81

Yay! Now controllers will cost even more money!

Hezzron73
Hezzron73

After having read this, my bio-signal is now "lame".

Flint247
Flint247

This could be interesting, but I will wait and see more information.

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

If this idea really would be created and would work, and the in-game character would respond to my state of mind then I'm angry that character would go mental in seconds. :lol:

chubbyfresh
chubbyfresh

what about a controller that you could plug into the back of your spinal cord so it reads your brain signals?

donalbane
donalbane

Oh, and as another application of the technolgy, you could be, say... sniping in an FPS. The more calm your mental state, the less the scope would drift. That would be terrific.

donalbane
donalbane

I minored in Biofeedback during my Masters studies, and I gotta tell you... this technology is incredible, and I've been wondering for years when it was going to cross over to the game world.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

It all sounds impressive and forward thinking, but this will 100% without doubt be something that, even if making it past R&D and into production, it would be faddy and useless. No thanks. I'd prefer if the time spent thinking about and researching this stuff was spent on coming up with amazing games instead, that work with the tried and tested current methods of input; a controller, or mouse and keyboard combo... I'm still divided on movement controllers even now - I personally haven't seen enough AAA games that use them in a properly implemented fashion I.E. the game would only be possible with movement, and not on a normal controller.