Sony files patent for a new pulse-sensing invention capable of determining changes in players’ mental states, and more accurate than current systems.
- Sony files a patent for pulse-measuring system to enhance player immersion in games without the need for wearable sensors.
- New technology captures still images to detect pulse changes and determine mood and tension, offering a more accurate measurement of mental state.
Sony has filed a patent for a system that would enable it to measure and monitor players’ pulses while playing games. The technology will measure and record the pulse of users to determine the mental state of a player.
Game developers have long been looking for ways to increase interactivity between gamer and game, in a bid to increase immersion. From realistic graphics to atmospheric scores and haptic feedback, the aim is to have players lose themselves in the game. Virtual Reality is seen by many as the next step in immersion and developers like Sony have been attempting to make the VR experience even more enticing with technologies like gaze tracking PlayStation’s VR systems. A new patent seems aimed at increasing player immersion even further.
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How Would Sony’s Pulse-Detection System Work?
The patent claims that traditional pulse-sensing systems place an additional burden on the gamer by requiring the wearing of sensors. The new system would measure “temporal changes in the density of captured images of a subject,” suggesting there will be no need for sensors attached directly to the skin. The technology will capture still images and then use changes in these images to determine mood and tension. Sony claims that the new invention will be able to differentiate between pulse changes and breathing, which can skew results in more traditional systems. Sony has previously filed a patent for a PS5 controller capable of tracking perspiration and heart rate changes, although players have yet to see the technology used.
A traditional pulse-measuring system relies on the use of sensor pads attached directly to the skin. When an electric current produced by blood pumping through the veins is detected, the results are recorded and compared to previous results to determine an increase or decrease in heart rate. Where visual sensors are used, they can be unreliable because they fail to detect minute changes but can be affected by breathing and perspiration. The patent goes on to suggest that the detected changes in players’ mental state, such as those documented by one gamer in Rainbow Six Siege, will be depicted in games.
Sony, and other manufacturers, file plenty of patents that never come to fruition, and so this patent may never see commercial use. If it does advance, it could be combined with other patents, such as Sony’s adaptive game difficulty patent, but that remains to be seen.
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