Just a few days ago, members of Sony Interactive Entertainment published a video demonstrating hand-gestures being tracked from a controller. While impressive, the controller itself wasn’t exactly practical for commercial use, though it appears that the latest PlayStation patent indicates that those features are being fitted onto the new PS Move controller, or at least being looked into.
Before continuing, we suggest you watch the video, posted by Uploadvr.com which shows the finger tracking controller in action.
Pretty cool, right? We thought so so at least, however that controller isn’t exactly the most comfortable looking one, and thankfully PlayStation appears to be exploring different design options, including a new PS Move controller.
The first design to appear in the patent is a PS Move navigation like controller that is all touched based, including the spot where the joystick would normally go.
The next one is a wearable glove (insert PTSD flashbacks of the Powerglove).
illustrates a controller device in the form factor of a glove interface object incorporating a plurality of flex sensors, in accordance with an implementation of the disclosure.
illustrates a side view of a glove interface object having flex sensors defined thereon, in accordance with an implementation of the disclosure.
illustrates a glove interface object having a plurality of flex sensors positioned at joint regions of the glove interface object, in accordance with an implementation of the disclosure.
Another one that appears to be a Move controller hybrid with large buttons and sensors around the extending band.
And lastly, the new PlayStation Move Controller, which looks identical to the one we have except it’s been fitted with the very same sensors shown in the other controllers to provide finger-tracking.
Demonstration of how the finger-tracking works.
To secure controller device 104 to the user’s hand and prevent accidental dropping of the controller device 104, the controller device 104 further includes a hand strap 504 that is configured to wrap around the palm of the user’s hand, thereby maintaining the controller device 104 in contact with the user’s palm even when the user’s hand is completely open (fingers extended). The controller device 104 also includes a wrist strap 506 configured to secure the controller device 104 to the user’s wrist. The controller device 104 further includes a trigger 508, that is configured to be operated by the index finger of the user’s hand, when holding the controller device 104.
In order to detect the postures of the fingers of the user’s hand, the controller device 104 includes a plurality of proximity sensors that are configured to detect the presence or absence of portions of the user’s fingers in proximity to the proximity sensors, and/or distances to the portions of the user’s fingers, when the user is holding/operating/using the controller device 104. These include proximity sensors 510a, 510b, 512, 514a–c, 516a–c, and 518 a–c.
The various proximity sensors may detect the presence/absence/distance of different portions of the user’s fingers depending upon which hand is holding the controller device 104 and the size of the user’s hand. Broadly speaking for an average size hand, when the controller device 104 as shown is held by the user’s right hand, then the proximity sensor 510a is configured to detect the proximity of the right thumb, whereas the proximity sensors 510b and 512 are configured to detect the proximity of portions of the right index finger. It will be appreciated that the proximity sensor 512 is integrated with the trigger 508, thereby providing both trigger functionality and proximity sensing simultaneously. Continuing with reference to the controller device 104 being held by the right hand of the user, then the proximity sensors 514a, 514b, and 514c are configured to detect the proximity of various portions of the user’s right middle finger; the proximity sensors 516a, 516b, and 516c are configured to detect the proximity of various portions of the user’s right ring finger; and the proximity sensors 518a, 518b, and 518c are configured to detect the proximity of various portions of the user’s right pinky finger.
It’s clear from the video above that PlayStation is already working on it, although whether or not it will be available as a final product is to be seen. We’ll be sure to keep you all posted on any major PlayStation news, in the meantime, what are your thoughts on this new PS Move controller? Do you prefer they stick with the PS Move for familiarity? Or perhaps go with one of the other designs? Let us know in the comments below!
In other related PlayStation news, Sony has also filed a patent for facial tracking features for the PlayStation VR, which is the accessory used usually with the PS Move.