Unlike other virtual reality (VR) headsets like the HTC VIve Pro Eye which are geared towards enterprise applications, PlayStation VR is solely a consumer-focused product due to its connectivity to PlayStation 4. A recently published patent shows that Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has been experimenting with more than just VR gaming, looking to expand into teleconferencing with a device that mirrors user feedback.
Spotted by Lets Go Digital, the patent was filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in October 2018 but only published last month. Titled ‘Actuator Apparatus’ the patent refers to the device in the image above which is a stereoscopic camera mounted of a spherical railing system. The purpose of which is to follow VR users head movements remotely.
As demonstrated in the image below, the camera device can be placed in a room so that a VR user can attend in real-time, able to surveil the room, then listen and respond to other attendees as if they were actually there, no matter where they are in the world.
So where does PlayStation VR come into all of this? Well, the patent filing was by SIE Japan, the division which oversees the PlayStation brand rather than Sony itself. Also, imagery within the patent is quite clearly a PlayStation VR design rather than any other headset design the company might be working on.
The patent also indicates a possible upgrade to PlayStation VR which would allow users to express emotions naturally. There’s mention of an internal-facing camera which would then monitor facial expressions such as happiness, sadness, anger or surprise, which could then be conveyed to the robotic camera device. Whether a camera on rails can accurately produce an expressive emotion – other than shaking from side to side in disgust – is another matter.
It certainly shows that SIE is evaluating the potential of PlayStation VR outside of the gaming industry, offering new financial avenues to explore. None of this will likely happen without a new headset and that’s not to be anytime soon due to the fact that PlayStation 5 will support PlayStation VR. As further details regarding a possible PlayStation VR 2 do come to light, VRFocus will let you know.