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Sony Handhelds Input Devices Portables (Games) Games

Patent Supports PSP2 Rear Touch Pad Rumor 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-always-thought-touchpads-were-too-easy-to-see dept.
itwbennett writes "According to Electronista, a series of patents filed 13 months ago and published late last week by Sony Computer Entertainment America may confirm rumors of a PSP2 with back touchpad. Of course, they could also confirm the rumored PlayStation phone. 'In either case,' says Peter Smith, 'exactly what interactions will be performed via the rear touch pad remain to be seen. Without adding a cursor to the display it couldn't be anything very precise (in other words, you wouldn't want to have to tap on a specific spot on the UI), but scrolling through menus, swiping to select items in inventory or panning around a map all seem like viable touch-enabled gaming UI interactions that you can do 'blind.' In shooter games you'll often have a gun reticle (essentially a cursor) anyway so aiming could be done via a rear pad.'"
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Patent Supports PSP2 Rear Touch Pad Rumor

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  • by rachit (163465) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:55AM (#34386106)

    That just sounds dirty...

  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:55AM (#34386110)
    People don't want touch. They prefer buttons.
    • Says who? iPad and iPhone sales would beg to differ and there are plenty of games for them. If you don't want touch then you can buy a different console.
      • by polyp2000 (444682) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:56AM (#34386358) Homepage Journal

        Yep but 80-90% of iPhone games are pretty shit! or low-accurracy, puzzle , block/breaking type casual games.

        You buy a dedicated device for gaming having a touch pad alone would be doomed to fail. iPhone and Android devices are more than capable of throwing out enough polygons to match the current generation of handheld consoles (There are some visually impressive FPS's out there ) . but as a gaming platform they suck even simple games like breakout just dont play well. I have to agree with Assemblerex on this one.

        That said , in addition to the regular array of buttons / pads - a touch pad might be a nice addition as a complementary control element - but replacing them with just a touch pad is a big mistake.

        N.

        • by joh (27088)

          Yep but 80-90% of iPhone games are pretty shit! or low-accurracy, puzzle , block/breaking type casual games.

          You buy a dedicated device for gaming having a touch pad alone would be doomed to fail. iPhone and Android devices are more than capable of throwing out enough polygons to match the current generation of handheld consoles (There are some visually impressive FPS's out there ) . but as a gaming platform they suck even simple games like breakout just dont play well. I have to agree with Assemblerex on this one.

          That said , in addition to the regular array of buttons / pads - a touch pad might be a nice addition as a complementary control element - but replacing them with just a touch pad is a big mistake.

          N.

          The point is that buttons and the like are fairly indirect and unnatural ways of controlling something you're looking at. Touchpads/touchscreens have their limits but also their advantages. Add gyroscopes for precise movement control and you'll have something that fits much, much better with human (even pre-human) senses and real-life experiences than stupid buttons.

          Whenever you have a competition between something that requires the user to learn unique skills and something that leverages deeply rooted beha

          • Swiping, longpresses, and pinch to zoom are not natural deeply rooted behavior patterns. Nor is controlling the movement of object by tilting another object.
    • by 91degrees (207121)
      Both can work pretty well. Buttons re very exact but touchpads are nice if we have a cursor.
    • Having both is the best, and it's actually a good reason to put touchpad on the back in the first place - so that you can have a full-size touch screen in front. Notion Ink Adam tablet is going to do just that, according to their descriptions. They use touchpad to allow you to interact with online stuff that assumes mouse (such as various Flash websites), but it would probably also be used by games and such.

      I wonder, though, how this patent will affect those plans now...

      • by mellon (7048)

        I'm pretty sure Notion Ink has been talking about the rear touchpad for longer than 11 months. Of course, as you sew, so shall you reap: Notion Ink claims to have patented their rotating camera, even though there was one in a Samsung phone I got from T-mobile five years ago.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by illaqueate (416118)

      if it's done right sliding across a touchpad will be better than using a right analog for camera/aiming

      • this isn't equivalent to a laptop touch pad btw. the ergonomics of this is better and the player could travel more (less repeated swiping). the question is if it's accurate enough to track small movements for fine aim

        • could also use both index fingers to swipe while using the left analog. there are possibilities there like

          i) using one or the other (player would prefer swiping one or other finger depending on the direction they are turning)
          ii) tracking both simultaneously for additional acceleration
          ii) tracking both for error correcting fine movements without requiring an aim mode to reduce sensitivity too much

    • I disagree. Something like this might get me to buy a console (I know it says PSP, but it will filter to the back of console controllers if successful). The touchpad emulates a mouse much better than a joystick, and is perfect for the types of games consoles are using as a driving force today: FPSes. Playing Halo/CoD/etc on a console vs. on a computer is like the difference between a high school football game and the NFL solely due to the input device. Look at the modifications necessary to HL2 games f

      • I can't enjoy the mind-numbingly slow experience given by console FPSes unless there is a change in the standard input device.

        You know, if you're carrying 80 pounds of weapons and equipment for reals, you probably can't turn 180 in an instant and make 100% accurate head shots at 200 meters. The "slowness" you describe is probably more realistic anyway, especially in something like SOCOM where you don't have a regenerating shield/health.

        On a side note, I'd love a KBM setup for a console, but I understand the reason it is not allowed.

        What do you mean "not allowed" haven't you ever heard of this little doodad

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Mouse [wikipedia.org]

        Don't even think about playing Alien Resurrection without one.

        Or played cert

        • I understand the realism argument, but the problem is that the skill ceiling is lower. It makes competitive play very lackluster. I enjoy the competitive factor, and anything that takes away from that has a tendency to ruin it for me. It wouldn't be a problem if I didn't play computer FPSes at a high level, but since I do, I can see and feel the differences. Its like watching a movie on a 19 inch TV in SD when you know you have a 56 in HDTV with surround less than 15 feet away. We are clearly different

          • I play for the competitive thrill and to win, you play for fun and immersion.

            Hey, that's pretty insightful. I never thought of it that way before, I guess I do play for the immersion. I like it when players actually communicate tactics and whatnot and not just slurs and insults. I like it when we use actual leap-frog you cover me while I move and then I'll cover you when you move techniques. I like it when someone acts as spotter. "hostiles coming up past the burnt out truck". I like it when we do a good "breach and clear"

            I'm not interested in playing against handicapped players with an unfair advantage, I'm interested in playing against the best with the best input devices possible.

            I'm wondering what will happen when the PS3 gets it's v

            • It is certainly true that some game types are much more conducive to a controller. Playing fighter games like soul calibur/street fighter/smash bros or some action rpgs like zelda64/mario64 with a keyboard is absolute torture. I really wish the 360 or ps3 had more enjoyable games in those categories, like the wii has. It'd allow me to justify my purchase.

  • by magloca (1404473) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:57AM (#34386120)
    ...welcome our rear-touching overlords.
  • Doesn't mean there's any intention of going into production. It just means they've researched the possibility. If you've spent the money on research, patenting is relatively inexpensive, and the patent is potentially valuable either for licensing out or as a protective countermeasure.
  • oww crap...
    NotionInk has announced that their Adam tablet will have a back-side touchpad MORE than 13 months ago if i remember correctly, and now sony goes on to PATENT NotionInk's idea?

    Talk about a new low for sony... patent troll & ip thief in adition to their activities with rootkits & mafiaa :(

    How the patent office could have granted such a patent on a publically-announced feature from NotionInk is unbelievable. With this i cannot see how NotionInk can launch the Adam tablet in US without being

    • Re:Ow crap.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by polyp2000 (444682) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:40AM (#34386288) Homepage Journal

      The fact that a touchpad can be patented just because it is on a different part of a device is ridiculous in the first place.

      • Pretty soon, someone's going to patent using a touchpad "... on a computer." and then we're all fucked.
      • Download the patent application and globally replace "rear" with "side." This will be the next "innovation" and I just wrote your million-dollar patent application for you.
    • It was announced in December 2009, so less than 13 months ago, and if NotionInk had business acumen they would have filed for a patent as soon as they came up with the idea. Either they didn't, or the implementation is different enough that it is granted anyway. Or, y'know, Sony filed before them, and thus has the legalities beat even if NotionInk was the first with a working model.

  • Dude, PaintShop Pro 2.0 is, like, so 1993.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    But I did get the patent for the "Crotch Touch, Touchpad" at least.
  • The Iphone 4 has a glass back cover as a means of testing if the general public is OK with a rear touchpad in Iphone 5. Or maybe the Ios 5.0 will enable it in the Iphone 4 as well !

  • Am I hallucinating or was something similar from Apple - for a rear-mounted clickwheel - mentioned on this very site a year or two back?

    • by hey! (33014)

      Possibly, but they're talking about a rear touchscreen, not a click wheel.

      If I recall, there was a paper on using rear touchscreens to deal with the "Fat finger" problem on very small touch controlled devices presented at ACM's April 2009 CHI conference. That's almost the same time this patent was filed, so obviously the researcher had been working on this previous to the filings. The earliest paper I can find mentioning "back-of-device interaction" in the HCI literature is from a 2002 issue of IEEE's "

    • Am I hallucinating or was something similar from Apple - for a rear-mounted clickwheel - mentioned on this very site a year or two back?

      Here [techcrunch.com] and Here [iphone4forum.net].

      As if the patent wars aren't already at full-pitch.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How is sony filing for patents on this when MS research labs had prototypes of this running years ago. Did they neglect to patent it? See LucidTouch (http://www.patrickbaudisch.com/projects/lucidtouch/index.html)

    It's incredibly useful for tablet-type devices and would be great on a psp-type thing. I've been waiting for some to announce a tablet with this feature to no avail. >_>

  • How is this different enough from the rear touchpad on the Motorola Backflip that it warrants a patent?

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