PlayStation VR, Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE’s) virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) for the PlayStation 4, already has 2 compatible input solutions. SCE has shown the device running with both the PlayStation Move motion controller as well as its standard DualShock 4 device. Many have wondered if the company might also be working on new input solutions for the kit that have been designed with it in mind rather than simply released beforehand. Now a pair of fresh patents from the company have suggested that it is indeed looking at this.
What A Future has uncovered 2 patents from SCE that hint at 2 potential new input solutions for PlayStation VR. The first is a ‘Gaming Device with Volumetric Sensing’. This refers to hardware that can detect a player’s hand movements using energy emitters and energy sensors such as an ultrasonic emitter and microphone sensor or infrared (IR) emitter and infrared sensors. Interrupting these sensors provides an image of the location of your hand and repeating this process gathers consistent information. In the picture above a player can be seen holding the device with a HMD on, which then appears as a ball within the given VR experience.
The second patent, pictured below, involves a pair of wearable bands that go around a player’s wrists. These feature cameras that can capture the movement of the other wrist in order to provide in-game hand-tracking. They also contain LEDs and inertial sensors to provide further positional information. So far SCE hasn’t mentioned any possibility of a new input for PlayStation VR, instead citing back to the PlayStation Move and DualShock 4. However, with Oculus VR and Valve providing dedicated position-tracked inputs specifically for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive respectively, it may be that the company has plans for an update.