Sony Envisions VR Without Traditional Controllers

Sony Interactive Entertainment has been patenting a lot of new ways to enhance virtual reality and a most recent filing in that regard suggests a different kind of controller system.

Currently, users rely on handheld controllers to interact with applications in a virtual reality environment. That remains true for all companies and brands out there. What Sony is proposing right now is to replace those traditional controllers with wearable devices that perform the same functions.

According to the patent in question, a wristband of sorts can be fitted with multiple cameras to detect and identify the positions of all of the fingers. Hence, each of the wearable device can take charge of each hand and send captured image data directly to the main computing system — a PlayStation device in the case of Sony — which is then sent back to the virtual reality headset.

The method includes capturing images of a first hand using a plurality of cameras that are part of a wearable device. The wearable device is attached to a wrist of a second hand and the plurality of cameras of the wearable device is disposed around the wearable device. The method includes repeating capturing of additional images of the first hand, the images and the additional images captured to produce a stream of captured image data during a session of presenting the virtual environment in a head-mounted display.

You can well imagine how such a wearable device from Sony would change virtual reality for the better. It would be another step forward in replicating those scenes from science fiction movies where the actor accesses menus with their fingers instead of a controller. The greater freedom would also open a number of new experiences for developers to pursue.

Elsewhere, Sony is also envisioning a future where virtual reality will drastically change how live events are spectated or streamed. Instead of attending in person or streaming through mobile devices, desktops, consoles and such, users will become virtual spectators through their virtual reality headsets. What Sony proposes here is to use multiple cameras to digitize the real venue into a virtual one, complete with seats for each virtual spectator. Hence, users will still be attending a live event in a manner of speaking and be able to interact with others.

has halted regime changes, curbed demonic invasions, and averted at least one cosmic omnicide; all from the confines of his gaming chair.