PlayStation VR Patent Suggests a Possible Next-Generation Virtual Reality Headset
Sony has been granted a patent that seems to suggest that the much-rumored PSVR 2 might be in the offing.
The patent for a ‘data processing device’ was first noticed by Let’s Go Digital. While the patent isn’t specifically describing a new version of a PlayStation virtual reality headset, some of the diagrams that have been used in illustrating the patent show some PSVR features that have never been seen before.
The illustration includes four images in the patent which show a headset design that closely resembles that of the original PSVR. There are however other images in the patent filing that show a very different design. Notable is the cameras on the headset illustration.
The patent shows in great detail the features that could be included a new PlayStation VR headset.
The patent shows a headset that can be connected to the PlayStation console wirelessly. On the wireless capabilities of the new virtual reality headset, the patent states that the device is usable both in wireless and in a wired setup. The patent describes the operation where a video signal is provided for display by the head-mounted display (HMD). According to the patent, this could be provided through an external video source like a video games machine whereby the signal could be transmitted to the head-mounted display “by a wired or wireless connection”.
Apart from the wireless connection, the patent also describes how the device will have three cameras. Two will be on the front while the third one will be on the back. The cameras can be used in showing the user their surroundings when they are wearing the headset or in displaying the ‘stereoscopic images’, which implies a 3D image. The patent also mentions Augmented Reality where visuals would be layered on the wearer’s view.
Also shown in the patent image is an image motion controller which also features a camera. The patent text also mentions a camera that is attached to a console similar to that of the current PSVR setup on PS4.
The patent’s mention of cameras that will be not just on the headset but also on the console is confusing and makes it hard to determine Sony’s intentions regarding the PSVR 2. It could be that the device will use both sets of sensors to provide wearers with “a unique mix of inside-out and outside-in tracking” according to UploadVR. Currently, there is no other known headset design that utilizes both sets of sensors. The latest virtual reality headsets, Oculus Rift S and Quest, both rely on headset-mounted cameras while the Valve Index headset relies on external base stations. It could also be that Sony is simply covering all its bases in the patent and that the announced PSVR 2 headset may just end up simply using one of these two tracking methods.
A New Form of Tracking
Having cameras on the controllers is a very unique concept as far as far virtual reality tracking is concerned and may end up increasing the accuracy of the tracking. The current PSVR still struggles with 360-degree tracking since the single camera is unable to “see” the wearer’s Move controllers when they turn around. The new PSVR 2 design might help solve the problem.
The new patent was awarded to Sony last month but it has now surfaced after Sony has revealed additional details about its upcoming PS5. Yesterday Sony announced that the new PlayStation 5 will be released around the holiday season in 2020. The tech giant also confirmed that the PS5’s DualShock controller will have both haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The next-generation console will also support the current generation of PSVR. While Sony hasn’t revealed whether a new virtual reality headset will also be released for the next-generation PlayStation, it now seems likely with the reveal of the new PSVR 2 patent.
Over the past few years, Sony has published several patents that hint at a PSVR 2 design including new wireless capabilities, new motion controllers and much more. It remains to be seen what concepts will eventually make it to the final headset design.
Another patent relating to a possible future PSVR tech was published early this year which details a new virtual reality glove. This latest patent is also referencing a user wearing one or two “so-called” haptic gloves and it also mentions a “so-called” haptic suit which may be worn by a user. The use of “so-called” to describe the haptic devices may simply be legalese but the patent description clearly points in the direction of Sony embracing the haptic feedback theme for its future plans.
The patent may not necessarily translate to a future tech but it does show that Sony is seriously considering virtual reality as part of its future console plans. The information on the patent comes hot on the heels of Sony’s announcement for its PlayStation 3 holiday 2020 release date.