18 February 2017
Sony has filed a patent for a Vive style PSVR tracking device that functions as an external projector and uses lights and mirrors to track the user’s real life movements and map them straight into PSVR.
Sony’s existing VR system uses a camera to detect light from the player’s headset; it limits the user to a small space. The new patent will give gamers more room for playing as well as provide a more accurate and immersive PSVR experience. The new technology would help Sony compete with HTC Vive and other VR headsets available in the market.
In the patent application, Sony writes:
"A method for determining an orientation of a photo sensor of a controller with respect to a projector is described. The method includes generating, by a beam generator of the projector, a beam. The method further includes modifying a direction of travel of the beam using a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) mirror that moves in a pattern, deflecting the beam, calculating a time at which the beam is detected and determining based on the pattern and the time an orientation of the beam to determine the orientation of the photo sensor."
The patent also reveals that the new VR device will be wireless and use Bluetooth or WiFi to connect to a PS4. There is no information whether the tracker would be an add-on to the existing VR headset by Sony or incorporated as a part of a PSVR successor.
Sony’s released its PSVR last year in October and was priced much lower than Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, due to its limited features. The company has not revealed the sales number of VR headsets in its earnings report.
It remains to be seen whether the technology will actually be integrated into the Sony VR Headset or not. Technology companies file hundreds of patents each year and only a limited number of them actually see the light of the day.