Just like we saw the video game controller evolve and change over the years before reaching a generally agreed-upon shape, we’re likely to see the way we interact with virtual reality change rapidly as it goes from concept to mainstream. The Oculus Rift has its Touch controllers, the HTC Vive has its Lighthouse sensors and its own controllers. The PlayStation VR has the Move controllers, but it looks like they’re not stopping there.
Sony has filed a few patents for what looks to be a glove controller. This isn’t the Powerglove, though, kids.
The product they’re potentially working on would have sensors to track finger movement, a contact sensor for touching physical objects, and a connection to the VR headset.
The filing calls the system “a trackable object that is configured to be illuminated during interactivity,” and says it would have “at least one inertial sensor for generating inertial sensor data.” The glove would also be “configured to receive haptic feedback data from the computing device,” suggesting the glove could potentially communicate to you when you’re touching a virtual object.
In a multiplayer situation, “users collaborating may use their gloves to touch objects, move objects, interface with surfaces, press on objects, squeeze objects, toss objects, make gesture actions, or the like.” They’re suggesting some pretty detailed tracking here, and coupled with that haptic feedback, it could make for an interesting online multiplayer experience if it works as intended.
While a patent doesn’t equal a product in development, the idea that Sony is working on a next-gen controller for its upcoming PlayStation VR headset isn’t out of the realm of possibility by any means.