How users interact with objects in the virtual reality world is one of the most important factors for an immersive experience. Now, Sony is going to take a step toward that, filing a patent for virtual gloves that'll provide accurate hand tracking without the need for a controller.
Titled "Glove Interface Object," the application can "identify a flex of at least one finger portion" via a set of sensors, including contact sensors that can recognize whenever a thumb touches another finger. What's more, it can determine the user's "finger position pose" and produce a rendering on the screen based on the position.
The company filed the patent way back in Oct. 17, 2014, but the submission only got published recently on Feb. 25, 2016, on the website of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).
One interesting tidbit in the documentation is Sony's comments regarding cloud gaming. First off, it states that "the computer 106 functions as a thin client in communication over a network with a cloud gaming provider 112." That means the cloud gaming provider will initially handle all content before handing it over to another device. After the process, it will then stream all the elements to the virtual reality device.
Just when things don't seem like they'll get any better, Sony mentions a bigger piece of news in the filing. According to the company, the headset could have the capability of directly connecting to only a router. That takes the requirement of having any console or hardware to process graphics out of the equation. In other words, the PlayStation VR could become a standalone device in due time.
That could be a pivotal point for the future of Sony's headset, as it'll take the technology to a whole new level, not to mention it'll set the device free from the shackles of the 2-year-old PS4.
With the Glove Interface Object in line, it won't be surprising to see Sony pushing more effort in the virtual reality game. Also, the company is set to take off the wraps of the PlayStation VR at a March 15 event, announcing all the details and pricing.
It's also worth noting that Sony isn't the only company bringing a controller-free solution to the virtual table. Leap Motion has also unveiled and shown off Orion just recently, saying that it has "radically improved hand and finger tracking." On that note, it still has a long way to go to get things in gear, though, particularly in terms of support from manufacturers in the industry.
Photo : Ian Muttoo | Flickr