Another Sony patent has hit the public eye and this latest hardware innovation for the company's PlayStation brand has a few interesting ideas for how to use a controller. However, as comical as some of the examples shown in the paperwork seem to be, this could be the start of a whole new era of VR for PlayStation consoles.
Of course, as innovative as this new tech may be, it's definitely entertaining to note that Sony has patented the use of a banana as a possible controller for a PlayStation console. Interestingly, this ability to use such a strange object as a controller may be able coming to both PS5 and PS4, as the patent does use the previous console as a conceptual model, though the wording suggests that the banana will be cross platform.
To start, this patent does not show a new peripheral that looks like a banana for something like a themed collector's edition of My Friend Pedro on PS4, but would actually use the real fruit as a controller. Sony claims that this new tech uses a camera device on a PlayStation VR headset in order to determine the position of the banana, and create inputs based on how that position changes while the player moves the object around. The classification used is called a non-luminous object, setting this type of image reading apart from similar PlayStation peripherals, in that light and motion sensors aren't required, only an object as simple as a banana.
It would appear that the banana is only one example of these non-luminous objects, as the patent also mentions items like pens, coffee mugs, or an orange that could be used in the same way. So, while the patent does showcase the banana as one of the main examples for how this innovation can work, it is only one of a possibly infinite number of household objects that can work. Since the system works specifically with taking pictures and measuring positions, the limits to finding new ways to interact with PlayStation VR are endless.
This is the type of thing that can easily be passed off as a silly new thing coming from Sony, but the implications of this are fascinating from a technical standpoint. Parts of the patent go as far as to claim that the positioning software can work with or without sensors in the object being detected by either a VR headset or a PS Camera. Altogether, it's a step up towards a PlayStation VR 2 that could go well beyond the previous capabilities of the current headset and PS Move controllers working together.
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