The touchpad on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 controllers isn’t quite popular in the PlayStation community due to its limited functionality. Game developers sometimes use it as a button for some functionalities but apart from that, there isn’t much the touchpad does even on the latest Dualsense controller.
But this doesn’t mean that Sony Interactive Entertainment can’t use the touchpad on its controllers for meaningful purposes. One useful functionality, for instance, could be handwriting using cardinal directions between sample points. The company has been granted a patent to just do that. The patent reads:
A computer simulation controller such as a PlayStation® Dual Shock® computer game controller has a touchpad to input text with a “palm graffiti” or “unistrokes” type alphabet. As each letter is drawn, it is saved as a file such as a postscript file which is basically a story of the cursor (starled at (1,1) move to (1,3) etc.
From there, coordinates (even distribution) are sampled across the set of coordinates to obtain the cardinal directions (N, NE, E, etc.) between them, which are encoded for data processing.
So in general, the patent refers to giving inputs to he machine (alphabets) just like we do on touch screens. The only difference here could be that the touchpad on controller is not a screen. The movements on the pad by our finger for instance could be tracked by using cardinal directions between points and then that data could be processed and displayed on the screen.
The patent for this handwriting functionality using the touchpad was filed by Sony back in 2020 and now, the patent has been granted. Now, these sorts of patents are filed often by the companies and they don’t always get implemented. However, these concepts do give us hints on what companies could be planning for the future.
If Sony does implement this concept and it somehow allows fans to use the touchpad for typing through handwriting, it will definitely be a cool feature to have for the fans. It will also make the PlayStation controller more accessible.