Sony’s New UI Patent Aims To Make Reading Content Easier

Sony Interactive Entertainment has been mulling improvements to the user interface of portable devices.

According to a recent patent, Sony understands that the small-sized touch-screen displays of portable devices such as smartphones and handheld consoles can sometimes make it difficult for users to see (and read) information. They generally have to use their fingers to select and then enlarge a portion of an image within the display. However, fingers can often make the selection process difficult on small-sized touch-screen displays.

Sony proposes an improvement to the user interface of said portable devices as a way to solve the aforementioned problem. The patented system describes a way to “decompose” the content meant to be rendered into a number of regions that fill the display. Each region can be associated with a unique active element from the content. Each region can also be mapped to different touch-sensitive areas of the portable device. Hence, removing the need and requirement for users to particularly select a specific portion of an image from the content.

For example, a touch-screen display can be divided into two areas where each area can be enlarged by selecting them anywhere within the display. Sony notes that some portable devices may map the user interface to a touchpad separate from the display screen. In such an example, the touchpad may be located on the back of the portable device and can be divided into (large) touch-sensitive regions. The displayed content can then be broken down into multiple active regions that can then be selected easily from the back-touch since the back-touch areas will be much larger than the displayed active elements.

…divide the image into one or more regions that fill the display, wherein each region corresponds to a different active element; correlating an active element in the image on the visual display to a corresponding active portion of the touch interface; and activate one of the one or more active elements in response to a touch to a corresponding one of the active portions of the touch screen.

This is the second filing from Sony in recent weeks for an improved user-interface experience. Previously, Sony patented a “unified” user interface menu screen for PlayStation 5 that allows players to execute multiple programs or applications with ease. The filing pointed out that currently, players have to open up an entirely separate menu screen while running a program or application. The proposed solution, based on the filing, is to give players a user interface that overlaps a running program or application. Hence, players will not have to exit their current session to access the menu screen.