You remember the Wii Vitality Sensor? The weird little Wii-remote attachment that clipped onto your finger and monitored your pulse and stress level? Nintendo promised that the weird add-on would have “interesting” uses within games, but Nintendo themselves seems to have given up on the idea of “biometric” sensing games in favor of focusing on their upcoming Wii U. Still, despite Nintendo abandoning the idea, Sony seems to think there’s still some merit to the idea.
Gaming blog Joystiq has uncovered a patent that was quietly filed by Sony which would incorporate heart rate sensors and “skin conductivity” (in laymen’s terms, sweat) sensors into a new model of their standard Dual Shock controller. The patent doesn’t describe any possible game play uses for biometrics (much like how Nintendo was equally mum about describing how the Vitality Sensor would be used in games,) but it’s easy to imagine situations where say, a sniper rifle becomes less accurate the heavier your breathing is, or a survival horror game that requires you to control your level of panic. Of course, controlling a game that is affected by your mood, level of stress, or even the clamminess of your hands seems like it could be an incredibly frustrating experience, but as with anything else, if game designers can figure out a proper application for the technology, the results could be intriguing.
But the more probable case is that, as was the case the Vitality Sensor and Nintendo, this “new” controller might just be an experiment on the part of Sony’s R&D division with no chance of actually making its way into a retail released, consumer level product.