The Power Glove reborn? Sony patent points to finger-tracking controller

This VR version of Pac-Man is kind of hard on the wrists... (credit: USPTO / Sony)

As someone who has tried a lot of virtual reality demos, trust me when I say that the ability to see your hands—and to use them to reach out and interact with the virtual world—makes all the difference. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Sony Computer Entertainment has filed a patent application for a "glove interface object" that could help provide accurate virtual reality hand tracking without the need to actually hold a controller.

PlayStation VR already has a hand-tracking solution, of course, in the form of the PlayStation Move controllers that were first released for the PlayStation 3 in 2010. But this glove offers a bit more functionality than those handheld wands, including sensors that can "identify a flex of at least one finger portion," contact sensors that can detect when you touch a thumb to another fingertip, and sensors that measure the user's "finger position pose" (which can then be rendered on the screen).

The end goal is to "simply provide a way of touching, holding, playing, interfacing or contacting virtual objects shown on a display screen or objects associated with documents, text, images, and the like," according to the patent application.

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