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Sony Goes For Augmented Reality With Patent For Modular AR Controller


Since the dawn of console gaming, there have been numerous peripherals that were made to bring new form of interaction for gamers; accessories like iconic Nintendo Zapper became a huge commercial success.

There were some peripherals that didn’t quite make it in the market, like Konami LaserScope headset, which failed to establish a name for itself. Most of us would remember those old add-ons and accessories that had no actual functionality within the game at all.

However, when it comes to the modern age of the gaming industry, the playing field has changed remarkably. Huge innovations from the likes of Nintendo (the Wii U’s touch pad or the Wii Zapper), Microsoft (both Kinect sensors) and Sony (PS Move and the PS Camera).

Consoles are looking to tap devices like smart phones and tablets for second screen functionality, fairly phasing out the peripheral interaction in numerous ways.

Nothing can replace the thrill of gunning down zombies in an arcade-style shooter like House of the Dead: Overkill with Wiimote guns and it’s this same interactive gaming that Sony aims to capture with their new device.

Sony has filed a patent that focuses on a curious new peripheral that emphasizes modular transformation: it can transform back and forth from a machine gun to a sword. However, it doesn’t end there. Below you can see the abstract taken from the patent filing that describes the peripheral and its functions:

A block tool, which can be assembled by a user, is configured with multiple types of blocks and is shot by a camera for capturing a still image or a moving image. The position coordinates of a marker of the square-pillar block in a three-dimensional space are obtained by image recognition.

Also, a connecting position and the type of each block, a gradient vector of the square-pillar block, an angle between two blocks constituting the square-pillar block, and the respective blocks’ lengths are obtained so as to derive the shape, posture, and position of the block tool, and corresponding information processing is then performed.

This is the device, which let players build their own style of the controller. This device has a huge potential for AR (augmented reality) environments created with the help of Sony’s PlayStation Camera. This modular controller might be used to interact with Sony’s rumored virtual reality PS4 headset.

You can check out the patent document and diagrams at NeoGAF.