Sony may be working on a glove controller, likely to be paired up with PlayStation VR, if three detailed patent applications published today are any indicator. The applications numbered 14/517733, 14/517741, and 14/503275 were spotted by NeoGAF (opens in new tab) user Rösti, and they account for almost everything you'd expect from a VR glove.
No, it doesn't have a weird NES controller strapped to the side. It does have a bunch of illuminated points for PlayStation Move-style camera tracking, though, so your '80s fantasies aren't totally out of line. Taken together, the glove's gizmos help create "a virtual hand in a view of a virtual environment on a head-mounted display (HMD), the virtual hand being rendered based on the identified finger position pose".
According to the applications, the glove would contain both flex and pressure sensors for each individual finger, as well as contact sensors to detect when your fingers are touching each other or your palms. The diagram above shows some examples, or you could even swipe your thumb across the side of your index finger to simulate a touchpad for more abstract controls.
The old VR glove dream is to simulate the sensation of touching the objects you see on-screen, but the patent applications don't go into much detail about what kind of haptic feedback they would support; it could just be the usual vibration. They do indicate that the glove would be attached to a bracelet, which could house the proverbial Rumble Pak and traditional motion tracking gadgets like an accelerometer and gyroscope.
Filing for a patent doesn't guarantee anything about a company's actual intention/ability to bring a market to product, just that it wants to be able to say that it had the idea first. Sony is also reportedly (opens in new tab) looking into other forms of hand tracking, so the glove may just be one of many input ideas brewing in the company. Both Oculus Rift (opens in new tab) and the HTC Vive (opens in new tab) are arriving soon, but a Power Glove that actually works would help set PlayStation VR apart.
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