PlayStation Is Potentially Developing Some All-Feeling Virtual Reality Gloves

Sony has patented a glove device that would be compatible with PlayStation VR, according to a handful of reports doing the rounds today. Now, we can't quite put our finger on what's causing us to not take this totally seriously, just yet - but we'll be looking to nail the facts down, as the story develops, and tell you more once we have them in our palms.

Oh, stop, us. Just stop.

Okay, so there's not much to go on here, so let's cut straight to it: this patent application right here, from Sony Interactive Entertainment, is for "dynamic gloves to convey sense of touch and movement for virtual objects in HMD (head-mounted display) rendered environments".

Sony PlayStation VR Glove Patent / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Sony PlayStation VR Glove Patent / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

And to dive a little further down the document:

"A system and method of using a peripheral device for interfacing with a virtual reality scene generated by a computer for presentation on a head-mounted display. The peripheral device includes a haptic device capable of being placed in contact with a user and a haptic feedback controller for processing instructions for outputting a haptic signal to the haptic device. The haptic feedback controller receiving the instructions from the computer so that haptic feedback of the haptic device changes to correspond to a user's virtual interactions with a virtual object in the virtual reality scene as presented on the head mounted display."

Get all of that? The short version: VR Gloves. With feedback enabling the player to 'feel' the virtual environment they're in. Into it.

And going deeper, still: "The haptic device can simulate a texture of the virtual object, a shape of the virtual object, an amount of pressure virtually exerted on the user by the virtual object, an amount of movement such as vibration or other movements of the virtual object or a proximity of the virtual object to a second virtual object." Which all sounds rather more advanced than anything we've messed around with in a virtual space, to date.

Synesthesia Suit from Rez Infinite / Credit: Enhance Games
Synesthesia Suit from Rez Infinite / Credit: Enhance Games

There's also this, which is interesting and has us thinking about an all-over haptic VR suit: "The haptic device can be disposed in an article of clothing capable of being worn by a user such as a glove, a hat, footwear, pants or shirt." Something a little like this was created for the awesome VR rail shooter Rez Infinite, the Synesthesia Suit (see above) But that was a run-of-one situation, a real exclusive; whereas what Sony's proposing in this patent is rather more mass-market. At least, we assume it is?

Wile PSVR might not have taken off just yet, we do know that the PlayStation 5 is going to support VR in a big way, and that a wireless headset is being planned, so Sony aren't taking it off their menu of gaming options just yet.

Exciting? Terrifying? Both? Let us know just how far you'd like to feel in your VR games - we're on Facebook and Twitter (and now Snapchat Discover!).


Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Mike Diver

Head of Content at GAMINGbible. Ex-editor of VICE Gaming and co-founder of Waypoint. Former writer/consultant for BBC's The Gaming Show. Former contributor to Edge, Eurogamer, Kotaku, PCGamesN, Official PlayStation Magazine, gamesTM. Author of 'Indie Games: The Complete Introduction to Indie Gaming' (2016) and 'How to Be a Professional Gamer' (2016). New book, 'Retro Gaming: A Byte-Sized History of Video Games', coming in 2019. Contact: [email protected]

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