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Input Devices Sony Entertainment Games

Sony Files Patent On "Any-Object" Motion Control 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the +1-car-keys-of-smiting dept.
Oracle Goddess writes "Sony filed a patent for a system where a camera can dynamically map any real world object for use in a video game. The patent states that the objects 'include items such as coffee mugs, drinking glasses, books, bottles, etc.' While these are given as examples, the object mapping system is not limited to those objects; it can identify any three dimensional object. The system looks similar to Microsoft's Project Natal, but instead of driving with an imaginary steering wheel, players can use an everyday item like a plate. Although this may seem a bit silly at first, the eventual uses for such a system could be wide-ranging and lead to novel and useful controllers for all sorts of systems and applications."
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Sony Files Patent On "Any-Object" Motion Control

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  • by kulakovich (580584) <slashdot@@@bonfireproductions...com> on Monday July 06, 2009 @03:16PM (#28598195)
    "Prior Art"?

    kulakovich
  • by Anonymous Coward

    'cause they sure won't make much selling special controllers anymore.

  • As with all inventions, this will lead to ungodly adult game uses.

  • Common objects (Score:1, Insightful)

    by arigram (1202657)
    Other "common" objects that would be just asking to be used in a game: - Swords, knives - Batons, staves, nunchucks - Guns, rifles - insert lethal weapon of your choice here) I mean, you're playing an FPS or an RPG and you can use any item as a controller? Who can resist going overboard with realism!
  • Not even oxiclean (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BillyMays (1587805) on Monday July 06, 2009 @03:21PM (#28598271)
    can take the stains out of patent law that allows things like this. What if a user wants to use a wiimote as their motion device of choice with Sony's system? At that point does it fall under Sony's blanket patent? This is like carpet bombing - no specific target, just try and cover as much ground as you can.
  • Sony also showed off some video motion recognition stuff, only they used tagged controllers the video could recognize from the markings. Rather than being "just like natal" it sounds like what they showed.

    It seems like you have to have some kind of object to interact with to make a game interesting, otherwise simple body movements alone are too limiting and clumsy. Even just using a lightsaber, you have to have some way to turn it on and off - you didn't see obi-wan using voice controls or resorting to th

    • I don't really see that being much of a problem. Either make the lightsaber automatically activate when opponents are nearby, or just leave it active all the time... it's not like you'd end up inadvertently slicing your leg off if the saber is left on like you probably would if you were running around with a real lightsaber (okay, lightsabers aren't real... but you get my point).

      • Either make the lightsaber automatically activate when opponents are nearby, or just leave it active all the time...

        That doesn't sound like much of a game to me - much of the fun is turning the thing on and off! In fact I have to say, that I'd prefer a game where you simply turn lightsabers on and off to some Star Wars games we've had over the years...

        A Star Wars game does seem the most likely candidate for a good adaptation for full-body controls, though frankly I doubt the general populace is going to be

        • by nschubach (922175)

          Either make the lightsaber automatically activate when opponents are nearby, or just leave it active all the time...

          That doesn't sound like much of a game to me - much of the fun is turning the thing on and off! In fact I have to say, that I'd prefer a game where you simply turn lightsabers on and off to some Star Wars games we've had over the years...

          Yeah, talk about a mood killer when you're walking down a dark hallway and your lightsaber turns itself on telling you that there's an enemy nearby. Or how about walking up to a door first to see if there's an enemy behind it before opening it. Sounds lame to me. When did Jedi Sense ever automatically turn on the sabers? What if it's a more powerful Sith hiding behind the wall and it's blocking the force?

          • meh, that's fairly tame compared to the games where your Jedi character always has his lightsaber turned on and will automatically block incoming blaster bolts without you even doing anything.

  • Although this may seem a bit silly at first, the eventual uses for such a system could be wide-ranging and lead to novel and useful controllers for all sorts of systems and applications.

    But this is SONY!!! Where is the unmitigated HATE in the summary?

    I mean, I WANT to buy lots of shaped plastic and form for absurd $$$ from Nintendo. Doesn't everyone?

    And besides, everyone knows that MS are the only ones to Innovate in the whole computer business. I mean, if it weren't for them we'd all be using abacuses ..

    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      Dripping sarcasm aside, it's not about hate for Sony or love for MS... it's just that these sorts of patents seem to put up more roadblocks to widespread adoption of a technology than anything else, so they're not exactly bound to be popular. Take the example of rumble in game controllers, for example. My PS3, for example, has no rumble feature in the controller. As such, I either have to purchase a new controller AFTER the patent licensing has been worked out, or I can just buy the game for my 360 inste

      • by nschubach (922175)

        Personally, I think software patents are stupid anyway. You can copyright software, but you shouldn't be able to patent it. Software is like a book. It tells you how to do something or it can entertain. If you could patent ideas on how that should happen or what it looks like (as in software) you will have publishing companies that patent character types in books (orcs, detectives, housewives), methods of page alignment, location of copyright, titles, separation of chapters or volumes, and all kinds of

  • The first thing I though of was the Chapelle show "Trading Spouses" skit where the guy finds the woman's dildo and is waving it around like a light saber.

  • by fpgaprogrammer (1086859) on Monday July 06, 2009 @03:28PM (#28598381) Homepage

    you can download camspace and use your webcam to track objects and control games right now:

    http://www.camspace.com/ [camspace.com]

  • Tried to find it here http://patft.uspto.gov/ [uspto.gov], but couldn't locate it. Anyone got the patent number?
  • Was anybody else's first thought......using your own penis as a joystick?

    No? I must have something wrong with me.....
  • I'm pretty sure I've seen this demoed, might even have come in a demo with a Logitech camera I got several years ago.

  • Prior Art (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gumshoe (191490) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:35PM (#28599243) Journal

    The system looks similar to Microsoft's Project Natal, but instead of driving with an imaginary steering wheel, players can use an everyday item like a plate.

    You can hold "everyday item's like a plate" with Natal too. The difference is that you don't have to for it to work.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The system looks similar to Microsoft's Project Natal, but instead of driving with an imaginary steering wheel, players can use an everyday item like a plate.

      You can hold "everyday item's like a plate" with Natal too. The difference is that you don't have to for it to work.

      An interesting question - considering Natal also tracks body motion and location, could the "everyday item" be something like your hand/fist? One of the Natal demo videos showed a family holding their fists above their upturned palm of th

      • by Gumshoe (191490)

        I think the demo video for Natal went to ridiculous extremes to showcase the technology. The "hand buzzer" thing to which you refer being one, the invisible steering wheel being another. It's an interesting technology but I agree with Natal's detractors in that tactile feedback is important in many gaming situations.

        In my opinion, equating Natal with "hands free" is potentially a marketing mistake. But then again, "hands free" is more casual and that's a huge market so perhaps Microsoft is right. The bea

  • by rollingcalf (605357) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:09PM (#28599737)

    This is yet another patent where they haven't actually gotten the specified technology to work as described; they just patent it ahead of time so when somebody else gets it to work they can sue them. The USPTO needs to bring back the requirement for a working prototype.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      Sony has demonstrated facial recognition and object recognition before. Not exactly a baseball bat, but you could draw objects on paper and the EyeToy would implement it into a game.

      • But they haven't implemented anything as fancy as what is described in the patent.

      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        Facial Recognition is hardly real world mapping of 3d objects. it is more pattern recognition and either way such technologies have been around for decades, including the idea of 3d mapping, not sure how they can possibly claim this is innovative/new/non obvious. Sounds more like they are trying to preempt where nintendo and Microsoft are already going to try and maybe win in courts where they failed in technology.
    • The USPTO needs to bring back the requirement for a working prototype.

      Agreed. Why should inventors who aren't backed by major corporations with multi-million dollar research and development labs be entitled to patents? Our Founding Fathers certainly didn't envision a world where someone could invent something, write it up in hundreds of pages of such extreme detail that anyone with the resources could build it, and get a patent without ever having actually shelled out millions of dollars to prototype it.

  • If theres anything in this patent that isn't described in detail in this book:

    http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~vgg/hzbook/

    and/or implemented in this library:

    http://www.cs.indiana.edu/cgi-pub/oleykin/website/OpenCVHelp/

    i'll be pretty damn surprised.

  • I've seen surface videos where everyday objects were recognized, not to mention someone else pointed out OpenCV. Seems like Sony has been blindfolded for this kind of stuff.
  • Wow Wing Commander just become so much fun. I can't wait.

  • Remember the fake Nintendo ON video? Even that featured mapping real objects into the game world.

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