SCE’s New Depth-Sensing Camera Patent Lets You Use Your Hand as a Gun

PlayStation Move Commercial Screenshot | YouTube

PlayStation Move Commercial Screenshot | YouTube

After uncovering patent after patent throughout the year, Sony Computer Entertainment’s new patent once again suggests that they are working on a Kinect-like camera. The latest patent highlights how a user’s fingers can be used as a gun.

How it Works

Based on Sony’s patent application, moving the thumb fires the gun. As stated on the filing entitled as “Methods and Systems for Enabling Depth and Direction Detection when Interfacing with a Computer Program”:

For example, the user may be able to shoot by different hand gestures, may be able to reload the gun with different gestures, and the different positions or orientations of the user’s hand may cause different graphical renderings of the user or gun on the display screen when the user is interacting with a particular game program.

Finger Tracking, Sound Location, and Many More

Sony’s purported finger-tracking capabilities could be superior to Microsoft’s Kinect, as it cannot do proper finger tracking. However, it was reported that the rumored Kinect 2 will have this feature.

On the other hand, Sony’s patent also details how the camera could sense depth: Sound location. The Kinect and most depth-sensing cameras use infrared to know the player’s location. However, acoustic location can also be used.

In fact, this technology was used during World War I and World War II to detect incoming planes. But it was eventually replaced by superior radar.

One advantage of acoustic location is that it could potentially “see” around corners because of sound refraction. That’s because it is one thing that infrared can’t do, although it will depend on the precision of the device.

Prior to this, Sony filed a patent that also describes a Kinect-like depth sensing camera. It details several controller devices, which take on the form of a basketball, a football, a baseball bat, and even a standard dual shock style controller with an array of LED lights on the front for motion tracking.

The camera described in the patent is said to use infrared to sense depth. The technology can also use twin-lens 3D camera, which will triangulate player position and build a detailed model of the player in front of the device. Just like the Kinect, the camera is said to operate at 30 frames per second, although it uses a motion-scaling device to smoothen the input.

Leave a Comment