Immersion Corp., a company that manufactures haptic equipment, has signed an agreement with Sony to license its advanced haptics patent portfolio. The company said that Sony can use it to create “game controllers and VR controllers.”
Immersion Corp said that this technology can be used to simulate “thrust, thrust, grabbing and pulsing sensations,” while Sony more vaguely simply stated that it “enhances the sense of presence and immersion.”
Immersion Corp does not actually produce tactile feedback equipment. The company certifies suitable hardware and licenses its software and more than 3,500 patents granted or pending to companies wishing to add tactile feedback to their products.
Immersion Corp claims that currently three billion devices around the world use their tactile technology. In particular, the company’s TouchSense software is used in the Nintendo Switch game console as part of the HD Rumble features.
The current PlayStation VR motion controller, PlayStation Move, uses a simple trigger similar to standard gamepads. This is in contrast to the linear resistant drives (LRAs) used on the Oculus Touch and HTC Vive controllers, which were also used in the Nintendo switch. Lras offers lower latency and more precise control over the vibration frequency.
Given this and other limitations of PS Move controllers, Sony will almost certainly release new controllers along with “PSVR 2 ″. How far in the future it will be unclear, of course, with Sony recently stating that the current PSVR will work with the next PlayStation console. But it is quite possible that this patent acquisition is probably a step towards the development of these next-generation VR controllers.
We have seen how such controllers can look like in Sony’s own patents. The first patent was filed in early 2018, and then the revised version of the same design again in February of this year.
Patents describe a controller similar to the Valve Index devices, with hand detection and trigger resistance. If Sony could also integrate enhanced tactile feedback, this could lead to the next-generation VR controller.
Stay up to date with the latest news with VRcue.