Sony Patents Kinect-Like Device For PlayStation

Sony Patents Kinect-Like Device For PlayStation

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Sony has applied for a patent for a Kinect-like device that will create a "three-dimensional interactive gaming environment" for the PlayStation.

Microsoft has taken the upper hand in the battle of the motion control systems, with Kinect for the Xbox 360 handily outselling the PlayStation Move. And even though recent reports indicate that Sony is closing the gap, it would appear that the company does see some merit in the Microsoft way of doing things. The company recently applied for a patent on a device that will generate "a real-time three-dimensional interactive environment" with the ability to "obtain depth values indicating distances from one or more physical objects in a physical scene" - in other words, a PlayStation Kinect.

"Generally, embodiments of the present invention allow the user to be interactive with, and affect, computer-generated objects and environments that are combined visually with the user's actual physical environment," Sony wrote in the patent summary. "The method includes obtaining two-dimensional data values for a plurality of pixels representing a physical scene, and obtaining a depth value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels using a depth sensing device. Each depth value indicates a distance from a physical object in the physical scene to the depth sensing device. At least one computer-generated virtual object is inserted into the scene, and an interaction between a physical object in the scene and the virtual object is detected based on coordinates of the virtual object and the obtained depth values."

But more interesting than the technical aspects of the filing is the implicit admission that the wand-and-button-based Move system, which Sony has always touted as inherently superior to the no-controller approach of Kinect, may not be all that and a bag of chips after all. "Such systems may include additional equipment that the participant is required to wear, such as arm coverings or gloves with integral, more easily detectable portions or colors, and/or visible light sources such as light emitting diodes. Unfortunately, such systems do not allow for the ease-of-use, quick response, and simplicity needed to provide a user input device capable of meeting marketability requirements for consumer items such as might be required of video game controllers," the filing says.

"In view of the foregoing, there is a need for enhanced systems and methods that allow interaction in a three-dimensional environment. The methods should allow user interaction without requiring additional equipment, such as arm coverings or gloves," it continues. "In addition, the method should not require overly burdensome processing ability and should have the ability to function in real-time, thus providing the user with a natural computer interaction experience."

The filing was actually made in October 2011 by Richard Marks, better known as the man who created the PlayStation Move and who expressed interest in the potential of the Kinect in an interview with Gamasutra last year. At the time, he said that 3D camera technology requires "a lot more fidelity to get the kind of control that you can already get out of the gamepad or Move." It's too late to take advantage of such technological improvements for the PlayStation 3, but a more advanced Kinect-like system for the next generation of PlayStation doesn't sound far-fetched at all.

via: PlayStation LifeStyle

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You know, this is actually a good thing in a way. They were the ones who really made a first attempt with PS Eye, and even if Microsoft refined it, this will hopefully lead to better games being developed for both devices. That is provided Sony doesn't make it pointlessly different enough where making games on the two devices. The thing that makes me say that is the part where they mention needing additional equipment to be worn.

Added to the list of things not to buy. Sony really has no shame.

Sooo... who's betting that MS and Sony will next follow Nintendo's suit and include touch screens on their next-gen controllers?

Well there's one thing Sony can detect: a trend.

Raiyan 1.0:
Sooo... who's betting that MS and Sony will next follow Nintendo's suit and include touch screens on their next-gen controllers?

Well, Sony did put touchscreens on the Vita, which came after the Nintendo DS. And correct me if I'm wrong (I may be misremembering this), but didn't Nintendo do the "vibrating controller" thing first (with the N64 Rumble Pak) before Sony improved on it with the Dualshock?

I was all set to run off a long, sarcastic "jumping on the bandwagon" rant against Sony here, but on reflection I don't think it's appropriate, especially sight unseen. It might just be derivative garbage, but sometimes what appears that way at first could turn out to be an excellent refinement of the formula. I thought at first that Jak and Daxter were just another me-too mascot platformer, but apparently they turned out pretty good. Hopefully this isn't just a case of "Ooh, let's do what Nintendo's doing-- Wait, let's do what Microsoft's doing!".

I EXPECT ONLY POSITIVE COMMENTS IN A THREAD SUCH AS THIS!

PS3. It only does everything...
everyone else has done...
sometimes.

How does this not conflict with the patents that I'm sure Microsoft has for it's Kinect?

Fr]anc[is:

Added to the list of things not to buy. Sony really has no shame.

So what it's ok for Microsoft to refine and copy PlayStation Eye and EyeToy but Sony can't copy and refine their own product?

Kwil:
How does this not conflict with the patents that I'm sure Microsoft has for it's Kinect?

Same reason that Kinect doesn't conflict the EyeToy and PlayStation Eye.

A little late to the party, aren't we, Sony?

Akisa:

Francis:

Added to the list of things not to buy. Sony really has no shame.

So what it's ok for Microsoft to refine and copy PlayStation Eye and EyeToy but Sony can't copy and refine their own product?

Kwil:
How does this not conflict with the patents that I'm sure Microsoft has for it's Kinect?

Same reason that Kinect doesn't conflict the EyeToy and PlayStation Eye.

Please. Eyetoy is a single camera. It's a friggin' webcam with some software behind it. Kinect is a dual camera system, with one of the cameras being, I believe, an infrared depth sensing device almost exactly as described in the Sony patent. You're essentially saying that the automobile was a refined version of a skateboard. Be serious.

Now for a moment, when reading the patent, I thought Sony was talking about having some sort of device at the rear or side of the room as well as at the front. If that was the case, then yeah, they'd have something original there -- and something which could work to give exceptional precision, I'd expect. But reading further, and I don't think it's there (which means I should probably run off to the patent office right now) but I haven't been able to get the images to load yet.

Kwil:

Akisa:

Francis:

Added to the list of things not to buy. Sony really has no shame.

So what it's ok for Microsoft to refine and copy PlayStation Eye and EyeToy but Sony can't copy and refine their own product?

Kwil:
How does this not conflict with the patents that I'm sure Microsoft has for it's Kinect?

Same reason that Kinect doesn't conflict the EyeToy and PlayStation Eye.

Please. Eyetoy is a single camera. It's a friggin' webcam with some software behind it. Kinect is a dual camera system, with one of the cameras being, I believe, an infrared depth sensing device almost exactly as described in the Sony patent. You're essentially saying that the automobile was a refined version of a skateboard. Be serious.

Now for a moment, when reading the patent, I thought Sony was talking about having some sort of device at the rear or side of the room as well as at the front. If that was the case, then yeah, they'd have something original there -- and something which could work to give exceptional precision, I'd expect. But reading further, and I don't think it's there (which means I should probably run off to the patent office right now) but I haven't been able to get the images to load yet.

No it's more like Sony invented the car and then Microsoft invented the Model T, so Sony decide to improve upon to compete with the Model T.

Akisa:
So what it's ok for Microsoft to refine and copy PlayStation Eye and EyeToy but Sony can't copy and refine their own product?

That argument might have some merit if the move wasn't blatant copy paste of the Wii first.

Akisa:

Kwil:

Akisa:

Same reason that Kinect doesn't conflict the EyeToy and PlayStation Eye.

Please. Eyetoy is a single camera. It's a friggin' webcam with some software behind it. Kinect is a dual camera system, with one of the cameras being, I believe, an infrared depth sensing device almost exactly as described in the Sony patent. You're essentially saying that the automobile was a refined version of a skateboard. Be serious.

Now for a moment, when reading the patent, I thought Sony was talking about having some sort of device at the rear or side of the room as well as at the front. If that was the case, then yeah, they'd have something original there -- and something which could work to give exceptional precision, I'd expect. But reading further, and I don't think it's there (which means I should probably run off to the patent office right now) but I haven't been able to get the images to load yet.

No it's more like Sony invented the car and then Microsoft invented the Model T, so Sony decide to improve upon to compete with the Model T.

Can you explain how you're getting that analogy? I mean, the technology differences between the eyetoy and the kinect are fairly vast. What on earth, besides blatant fanboism, makes the technology of the eyetoy remotely comparable to that of the Kinect? Go ahead and describe to me the similarities in the tech and how MS copied Sony specifically, I'm listening.

No! No GD it! The Kinect NEVER sold well for Microsoft! Why the hell would Sony possibly do something like this? Where's the logic?

AxelxGabriel:
No! No GD it! The Kinect NEVER sold well for Microsoft! Why the hell would Sony possibly do something like this? Where's the logic?

Logic?

It's Sony we are talking about.

Fr]anc[is:

Akisa:
So what it's ok for Microsoft to refine and copy PlayStation Eye and EyeToy but Sony can't copy and refine their own product?

That argument might have some merit if the move wasn't blatant copy paste of the Wii first.

This x10

It'll be interesting to see by the time this device can finally make it to release how popular motion controls will still be.

Also knowing Sony this device is probably looking to be something like 299 US Dollars. Thus scaring off all consumer base minus the hardcore.

Raiyan 1.0:
Sooo... who's betting that MS and Sony will next follow Nintendo's suit and include touch screens on their next-gen controllers?

*Earlier this month...*

OT: I skipped the Wii and stayed away from Sony's Move and the Kinect. I like controllers, end of story. Will Sony's motion capture be better than Microsoft's? Time will tell on that one. Will I particularly care then? Probably not any more than I do now.

Though I'm not going to be so ignorant as to call it copying, I won't be buying it either.

Motion controls are fun gimmicks that are best kept in Arcades and me and my wallet will continue to stay away from their console versions.

Though, thinking about it, I can't think of any other avenue for Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo to go down without incurring ridiculously high R&D costs with a high risk product. So colour me unsurprised if all three don't ride this motion control malarkey into the grave.

Maybe they could work on some sort of 3D projection technology or something?

AxelxGabriel:
No! No GD it! The Kinect NEVER sold well for Microsoft! Why the hell would Sony possibly do something like this? Where's the logic?

The logic is that in the future, we'll control all of our media - including video games - in the most groan-inducing, frustrating, and inefficient manners of flailing possible. Because that is the future as foretold by Minority Report!

I'd much rather these companies spend the R&D money on creating new IPs or making games that are fun instead of trying to reinvent the wheel for an alternate universe... and then throw a touch screen[1] on the rims for good (expensive) measure. Get a grip Sony; you're releasing so many PS2 nostalgia grabs that they're going to outnumber the new PS3 IPs, if they haven't already.

[1] I have a massive, high definition television set. If I'm looking at that, then what the hell do I need a controller with a screen on it for?

Kwil:

Akisa:

Kwil:

Please. Eyetoy is a single camera. It's a friggin' webcam with some software behind it. Kinect is a dual camera system, with one of the cameras being, I believe, an infrared depth sensing device almost exactly as described in the Sony patent. You're essentially saying that the automobile was a refined version of a skateboard. Be serious.

Now for a moment, when reading the patent, I thought Sony was talking about having some sort of device at the rear or side of the room as well as at the front. If that was the case, then yeah, they'd have something original there -- and something which could work to give exceptional precision, I'd expect. But reading further, and I don't think it's there (which means I should probably run off to the patent office right now) but I haven't been able to get the images to load yet.

No it's more like Sony invented the car and then Microsoft invented the Model T, so Sony decide to improve upon to compete with the Model T.

Can you explain how you're getting that analogy? I mean, the technology differences between the eyetoy and the kinect are fairly vast. What on earth, besides blatant fanboism, makes the technology of the eyetoy remotely comparable to that of the Kinect? Go ahead and describe to me the similarities in the tech and how MS copied Sony specifically, I'm listening.

Trust me it's not blatant fanboyism, I have dropped the console and focus exclusively on the PC. They're just casual readings from their respective Wikis.

Well, even if Sony came out with the PS Eye first and stuff, I still think they;'re following a trend. If Microsoft had never released the Kinect, Sony would be more than happy with their MOVE set, I'm sure.

I mean, I'm pretty sure they knew of the Kinect's development while they were working on the MOVE, but it was already too late because they had already decided to copy Nintendo on this one. So now this?

I love my PS3 more than anything. But come on, Sony. You don't need this. Your titles are good enough as they are. In my case, I bought the MOVE and the sharpshooter and I hated it. The controllers are convoluted and its not even close to what you do at arcades. Or with the Wii. But that's just me.

Now, like someone said, if this would have been a one-camra-in-front-ofyou-and-one-behind-you gimmick, then MAYBE it would sound interesting. I remember some sort of thing like that came out about a decade ago (I don't think it was the Virtual boy), where you'd put on a visor and you'd literally only see the game. You'd turn right and the camera turned right. You'd lean forward a bit and you'd walk. It was fun except for the fact that it had a cable that was connected to a computer or something and every time you'd turn around all over the place, you'd get tangled with the cable.
If Sony would be able to create something like this, only without the visor, or perfect that technology, then MAYBE that would be a huge hit. Something that really makes you feel like you're inside the game instead of giving me a funny-looking wand and waving it all over the place like I'm giving someone a handjob. I'm looking at you, Today's Show.

FFS.

MS copied Sony's EyeToy and Eye by making Kinect, and now everyone's giving them crap for essentially making the third version of the PlayStation Eye?
Really?

If you were complaining from a Nintendo perspective you might have a leg to stand on. Nintendo tends to do totally off the wall stuff long before anyone else thinks it might be a remotely good idea. I can't really name anything Nintendo has copied aside from online capabilities...

Sony does some innovating and Sony does some straight-up improving of other people's ideas. They started the use of discs, game cameras (EyeToy/Eye), and backwards compatibility, and they basically invented the idea of selling updated console models when they released the PSone as an updated PSX (which has carried over to the PS2/PS2 Slimline, PS3/PS3 Slim, 360/360S, white Wii/black Wii MotionPlus set).
They copied and improved the SNES controller (added grips and L2 and R2), copied the N64's analog stick idea and took it to its logical conclusion by adding 2 analog sticks to their controllers (which is now the "traditional" controller format across all platforms), they refined the N64's Rumble Pack into the form of the DualShock controllers (again, with integrated force feedback becoming a widespread feature), they took the Wiimote idea and combined it with the PSEye to make the much better PS Move,

Microsoft almost purely copies everyone else. They take other people's ideas and usually improves on them a bit. I can't think of a single original idea from either XBOX.
They (like everyone else) took online from the Dreamcast(and they've probably got the best online from most standpoints), the controllers are hybrids of Dreamcast and DualShock controllers (but apparently never figured out the force feedback thing?), Kinect derived from Sony's EyeToy/Eye, avatars from Miis....
I'm not saying MS doesn't make the better versions of some stuff, but they sure as hell can't hold the high ground regarding copied ideas vs original ideas.

 

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