Sony Explores Shape-shifting, Temperature-responsive PS5 Controllers

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Sony has filed a patent detailing a new technology that could revolutionize the PlayStation 5 gaming experience.
The patent outlines a controller featuring a pliable "elastic member" capable of changing its shape, temperature, and hardness in response to gameplay, with the potential to significantly improve haptic feedback and provide a more immersive experience.
The elastic sensors could be based on various flexible materials, and the patent also mentions the possibility of using artificial muscles or soft actuators and AI technology for smooth gameplay.
Concerns about the elastic member's deformation making it difficult for users to locate its original shape and position during gameplay are addressed by proposing an egg-like elliptical shape for the button that would fit comfortably in the user's hand.
If Sony proceeds with this design, it could dramatically change the way controllers work and enhance the overall gaming experience, reflecting the company's history of exploring innovative technologies.

 

Sony has recently filed a patent detailing a new technology that could revolutionize the PlayStation 5 gaming experience.

The patent, discovered by gaming website Exputer, outlines a controller featuring a pliable “elastic member” capable of changing its shape, temperature, and hardness in response to gameplay.

The elastic member could be filled with pockets of gas that expand, and the gel material inside could change its firmness when heated.

This technology could significantly improve the haptic feedback feature of PlayStation controllers, providing gamers with a more immersive experience.

Deformable Elastic Sensor and Temperature Emulation

The patent discusses the use of a deformable elastic sensor, which would replace the current plastic material used in PlayStation controllers.

This gel-like material could enhance haptic feedback by better transmitting vibrations.

The controller could also emulate changes in temperature to reflect in-game virtual items, providing a more immersive experience.

The “Peltier element” would be included in the controller to electrically change its temperature. 

The elastic sensors could be based on various flexible materials, such as silicone-based macromolecular gel materials or urethane-based gel materials, and various elastomer materials.

Sony has a history of exploring innovative technologies, having recently published a patent to improve voice chat features for disabled users and another for personalizing game narration and difficulty for each player.

Artificial Muscles and AI for Smooth Gameplay

Sony’s patent also mentions the possibility of using artificial muscles or soft actuators in the elastic member to ensure a smooth and organic experience during gameplay sessions.

AI technology could be employed to automatically recognize the severity of deformation and create haptic feedback in the controller based on the pressure applied by the user.

However, the patent raises concerns about the elastic member’s deformation making it difficult for users to locate its original shape and position during gameplay.

To address this issue, Sony proposes an egg-like elliptical shape for the button that would fit comfortably in the user’s hand.

Innovating the Gaming Industry

It is important to note that the existence of this patent does not guarantee that the controller will become a reality.

Companies often file patents defensively to prevent other companies from developing similar technology.

However, if Sony does proceed with this design, it could dramatically change the way controllers work and enhance the overall gaming experience.

Sony has a history of exploring innovative technologies, having recently published a patent to improve voice chat features for disabled users and another for personalizing game narration and difficulty for each player.

Craig Miller

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