Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation 5 is expected to hit store shelves in time for the 2020 holiday season, and details are finally starting to emerge about the next-gen gaming platform. The latest tidbit comes courtesy of a patent application that describes a motion controller with built-in fingerprint sensors.
According to the patent – which was filed with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) – the PS5 controller could feature a thin vertical panel with infrared and fingerprint sensors. The sensors would be able to track where the user’s fingers are positioned on the sensor panel, and how that position changes during gameplay. The information would then be sent to the PS5 through the infrared connection.
While the controller could be used to play more traditional games like first-person shooters, the technology is expected to be particularly useful in the realm of Virtual and Augmented Reality, where it will essentially give players more functional hand and finger dexterity. Contemporary VR setups have cameras embedded in the headset, which force the player to look at their hands and keep them in the camera’s field of view in order to perform finer movements.
The new controller sensor, on the other hand, will allow the console to track finger movements even when the player is not looking directly at their hands. It will also be able to track both hands separately, so there will not be any issues if the user’s hands overlap. In more conventional games, it could similarly allow players to input commands with finger movements instead of buttons.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Sony’s final design will match its patent. Even so, it seems increasingly likely that the PS5 controller will include at least some biometric capabilities. Previous Sony patents have hinted that the controller could be used for biometric authentication and registration, and track metrics like skin moisture and heart rhythm to determine how a player is responding to a specific game.