Sometimes the first glimpse we get at what future products might look like in the form of art comes from patent drawings. Sure, the art shown in patents does not always indicate what the final product will look like, but sometimes it does. A new patent application from Sony has been published with some interesting artwork that perfectly shows a banana shaped controller.
patent It also contains some strange wording that says, “It would be desirable for the user to use an inexpensive, simple, non-electronic device as a video game end. The current disclosure seeks to address or at least mitigate some of the problems identified above.” The mentioned problems identified include controllers that must be connected to charge or replace the battery frequently, or are packaged with technology such as speakers, buttons and haptic feedback making them more expensive.
The banana seen in the patent artwork is not a banana-shaped console that Sony wants to manufacture. It is a real banana that can be used as a console. The technology described in the patent permits the use of any “non-luminous passive object retained by the user” as a control unit. In the Sony system, the camera captures the object the user is keeping and tracks the object based on pixels, lines, and colors instead of QR codes or other technologies.
Sony’s patent also talks about some of the techniques used to infer the position of any object that a user holds in a 3D space. The object in the hands can be used to control the in-game camera, replace the joystick, or pause the game if everything hand-held is placed.
The patent application also specifies how to map the buttons to whatever a user holds with the help of a camera mounted in a VR headset. It seems as if Sony is targeting this next generation PlayStation VR. As with any patent, there is no guarantee that the technology will ever come onto the market.