Control solution for virtual reality comprises a glove filled with filled flex and contact sensors which translate hand shapes and movements into virtual objects and actions

Sony patents motion-tracking glove for PlayStation VR

Heavy metallers rejoice: forming devil horns with your fingers to summon Beelzebub could well become a (virtual) reality in the near future, thanks to a new technology patented by Sony.

The invention is described at length in its official paperwork as: “A glove interface object comprising at least one flex sensor configured to generate flex sensor data identifying a flex of at least one finger portion of the glove interface object; at least one contact sensor configured to generate contact sensor data identifying a contact between a first portion of the glove interface object and a second portion of the glove interface object; a communications module configured to transmit the flex sensor data and the contact sensor data to a computing device for processing to determine a finger position pose of the glove interface object, the finger position pose being applied for rendering 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.”

In short: if you make your hand into the shape of a phone, a phone can be programmed to appear on-screen within VR.

Clearly targeted at providing a flexible control system for Sony’s upcoming PlayStation VR headset, the combination of a sensor-filled glove and haptic feedback ‘cuff’ would be able to recognise both hand shapes, movements and contact with surfaces.

Among the demonstration images filed alongside the Glove Controller’s technical information (via NeoGAF) are examples of a hand forming a gun shape, twisting a ‘V’ finger sign to mimic shaking flowers and a clenched fist representing a sword.

Moving into menu operation, the ‘T’ time-out shape is suggested as a method of pausing games, forming a directorial square with hands is used to capture video and images, and an extended finger and thumb mimics a phone (which, for some reason, is shown with a cord – get with the modern world, Sony).

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