Sony VR Could Become Standalone Device


Just 27 years after Nintendo’s Power Glove, Sony has patented its own gaming glove. The patent documents also reveals the PlayStation virtual reality headset could be a standalone console.

The details come in three patent filings that have just been approved and publicly published. One is for a device with a working title of “Glove Interface Object” with the others covering a thumb controller and a feedback system.

As usual, the glove patent document is fairly open-ended and vague, but the key points are that the glove would capture movement including flexing fingers; that it would provide haptic (touch) feedback to the user; and that the glove could appear as a virtual hand in a connected head-mounted display. That would seem most likely to be PlayStation VR. The idea seems to be that if you can “see” the hand you are moving about, it feels more immersive.

The filing also suggests using touch switches, for example turning the side of the index finger into a virtual touchpach to press or swipe with the thumb.

The most significant part of the filing may be the mention of the associated headset being able to connect directly to a router rather than going through a console. That creates the possibility of Sony’s virtual reality games being processed on a cloud system, in turn making the VR headset a standalone device. If the price is low enough, that could open it up to a much bigger market, particularly current-generation players who’ve opted for the XBox One, want to try virtual reality gaming, but are loathe to get a PS4 just to do so.

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