Sony's Patent for "Emotion Detecting" Controller Generating Buzz
Videogamers are excited this week about a patent filing from Sony Computer Entertainment America that would enable a PS3 controller interface technology to recognize laughter, sadness, excitement, anger, joy, interest, and boredom. The emotions would then be reflected in the game play. Some analysts are speculating that the "emotion detecting" controller could also be used for television and online interfaces, although no specifics are available.
Sony, which has not discussed this patent, offers few details in the patent application itself (US Patent 7451079 for an "emotion recognition method and device"). Although there is considerable chatter this week about the patent thanks to coverage at a game-oriented Website, the Sony patent was actually issued last November and assigned to Sony France S.A. Although somewhat vague, the patent suggests that a camera and microphone will detect player's emotions to read metadata and interpret a player's emotional responses to what he or she is seeing on screen. The patent proposal suggest that the system will recognize actions like high-fives for enthusiasm or yawning and looking way from the screen to indicate boredom. Other Sony-developed technology, such as the smile-detecting software used for digital cameras, may also be integrated into the emotion detector,
The patent application offers no clues about market deployment schedules or pricing.