Sony Interactive Entertainment has discovered a new way through which to increase the participation of spectators in online games.
According to a new patent published last week, speech produced by spectators using a microphone in an online game can be processed through a server to become text images. Encoding voice into text is not something new. What is new is that Sony plans to use the same technology in its patented system to bring up in-game speech bubbles as a graphical overlay for the spectator; all in real-time.
The same system can also identify different characteristics of the speech such as intensity and thickness to confirm emotions. Hence, coloring the graphical overly with green if the spectator sounds happy, orange if excited, and red if angry.
Sony draws a picture in the filing to better explain its intentions. Imagine thousands of spectators watching an esports match on either YouTube or Twitch. Trying to participate by commenting underneath the stream can become pretty messy. Instead, their comments will be sent visually within the gameplay using an avatar to be seen by all spectators.
“When spectators comment and react to various activities occurring in the gameplay, an avatar of the spectator is depicted verbally expressing the comments of the spectator,” explained Sony.
The PlayStation maker expects spectators to enjoy such newfound freedom of participation, especially in sports games where spectators can call out players from the benches or front rows.
Sony has published a lot of patents related to streaming or streamers. It previously patented a way to help streamers increase their number of followers and in turn, earnings by accessing their level of engagement with their audience in real-time.