Sony files patent for EyePad

No, it's not a tablet, it's a potential controller for the PlayStation console.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Sony's proposed EyePad game controller.
Sony's proposed EyePad game controller. FreePatentsOnline; screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Sony is eyeing its own EyePad via a patent, but it's not a gadget designed to compete with Apple's popular tablet.

Instead, the Sony device would act as an input control for an entertainment console and could wind up as a controller for the current and upcoming version of the PlayStation.

Published last week by the European Patent Office, Sony's patent describes a wireless controller that looks like a small tablet with a touch-sensitive surface. Motion sensors would be able to detect the movement and position of the controller. The device could also sport a couple of stereoscopic cameras that could pick up motion above its surface.

Using the dual cameras, the EyePad could allow people to interact with one of Sony's virtual EyePets, as the patent explains below:

The depth maps from the two stereoscopic cameras describe the location of points on the surface of the user's index finger within the common volume, and hence it is possible to calculate whether those surface points coincide with the surface model of the virtual EyePet. This gives the user the precision to stroke the EyePet's ear, tap its nose, tickle its tummy, or otherwise interact with it in very specific ways, and moreover to do so for whatever arbitrary position or orientation they are holding the EyePad in.

The patent mentions the PlayStation 3. But assuming the technology ever becomes reality, Sony could pair it with its upcoming PlayStation 4. The company will host an event in New York City tomorrow at which it's expected to announce the PS4 and possibly other new gaming devices.

Apple may not be too happy with the device being dubbed the EyePad. But the name carries on the Sony tradition of using the word "Eye" in its products, notably the PlayStation Eye camera and the EyePet.

(Via The Register)