PlayStation VR motion controller patents bring hope to believers

At the moment, the mainstream VR market is mostly a two-horse race, with Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive taking the lion's share of the market. Not that others haven't tried. Microsoft has its own Windows Mixed Reality platform and Sony came even earlier with the PlayStation VR, formerly codenamed "Morpheus". PS VR, sadly, still has a lot of growing up to do from a technology standpoint. Fortunately, at least based on these two patents filed in Japan, the company has given its motion controllers some serious thought that will hopefully translate into action.

The PlayStation VR's controllers are actually an artifact of a bygone era, which explains its design and limitations. Initially intended to take on the Nintendo Wii and its Wiimote, the PlayStation Move controllers weren't exactly a perfect fit for VR environments. But rather than risk delaying their thrust even further, Sony decided to just stick, no pun intended, with what they already have.

In contrast, the motion controllers shown in two patents make for a better input device for virtual reality. It still comes as more or less a stick, with the strap now at the side rather than looping from the bottom. But now there is an analog joystick on its head, surrounded by buttons, and a trigger underneath for the index finger to reach.

Perhaps more interesting is how the handle of these controllers will have finger tracking, allowing the controller to determine the position and pressure if all fingers. This resembles the idea found in Valve's Steam VR Knuckles controller prototype. In addition, the patent says that the controller itself will no be tracked by the VR headset rather than external cameras, increasing the accuracy and reliability of the tracking.

Unfortunately, these are still just patents and there is no assurance Sony will actually make products out of it. It should, however, if it wants to be taken seriously in the growing VR market that, so far, has ignored most gaming console platforms like the PlayStation.

VIA: VR Focus