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Sony tested PS4 controller that could detect sweat

Lead system architect Mark Cerny reveals Sony tested a DualShock 4 controller that could measure a player's galvanic skin response.


Sony tested a PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller that could detect stress and sweat levels, lead system architect Mark Cerny has told

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The scientific term, galvanic skin response, is a measure of how conductive a person's skin is at any moment, which fluctuates depending on how much a person is sweating.

"We had a long research project where we looked at pretty much any idea we could think of," Cerny said. "Would it help to measure the galvanic response of the skin? We tried out a tremendous number of things--and then we went to the game teams to ask them what they thought they could use from the controller."

Cerny's revelation confirms past reports that suggested Sony was testing biometric sensors for the DualShock 4.

A stress-sensing sensor is not featured in the final DualShock 4 design, though the pad does include a touchpad and various other updates over the DualShock 3. Cerny explained that his team ultimately wanted to build a controller that would be better suited for first-person shooters.

"Historically, we have heard many times that our controllers have not been ideal for first-person shooters," Cerny said. "So we wanted to make sure we had something that would be much better for that genre. We tested the throw of the triggers, the position of the triggers, how much pressure it takes. We looked at the joysticks, the dead spot, we looked at convexity and concavity."

Cerny said the final result is a controller that "feels extraordinarily natural."

"I haven't heard a negative comment about it yet," Cerny said. "For a controller with a very different form factor that was just amazing to see."

The PS4 launches this holiday season for $400.

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