Sony is planning to introduce temperature feedback technology to its PlayStation controllers, according to its recent patent application.

The application proposes a specialized substance that can mimic temperature changes to offer players a more immersive gaming experience. It is worth noting that conventional gaming controllers primarily employ rigid plastic materials that lack flexibility and malleability.

The primary aim of this technology is to tackle the mentioned issue and devise a solution to deliver a more immersive haptic experience. Regarding the temperature aspect, an illustrative instance presented in the application involves blending a hermetically sealed gas bubble into the flexible component beforehand.

The controller's circuit division would subsequently feature a temperature regulation device like a Peltier element, which would correspondingly govern the gas quantity in the bubble, thereby altering the form of the flexible component.

In contemporary product design, the incorporation of haptics has become a crucial aspect in providing users with a significant tactile experience. Haptics is the domain that deals with creating tangible responses to digital input, spanning from basic functions such as vibrations on receiving a message on a smartphone to hi-tech medical prosthetics that aim to restore the complete intricacy of a lost sense of touch.

"An aspect of the present invention to solve the above problem of the conventional example is a controller that includes a sensor using an elastically deformable elastic member, and this sensor detects the user's contact with or deforming action of the elastic member and outputs an electric signal based on the detected contact or deforming action in question," the filing read.

Home gaming, for decades, has incorporated lights and vibration, but engineers strive to enhance player engagement and create maximum immersion. Haptic innovation is a promising avenue for achieving this. The patent utilizes a distinct approach to haptic feedback, allowing the controller to alter the temperature in the player's hands in response to specific inputs.

Although the patent is only a preliminary step, it could fundamentally alter how gaming peripherals interact with their player, with substantial implications.

Sony's patent for a controller element presents an intriguing possibility without a specific designated purpose. The potential uses range from basic climate control to intricate temperature adaptations corresponding to in-game events. The extent of temperature manipulation as a component of gaming is uncertain. While the patent suggests the plausibility of such advancements, it must be noted that obtaining a patent does not guarantee the manifestation of a final product.

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AFP / Philip FONG