Sony is one of the most forward-thinking tech companies in the world, and for years has been at the forefront of developments. Behind the scenes, an enormous amount of work goes into creating each idea and applying for a patent, even if some concepts never make it to production.
Here’s a look at three of Sony’s patent applications which teeter over the line between creative and just a bit bonkers.
Sony’s patents can be a good way to get an idea of the direction that the tech giant plans to take. But quite frankly, this view of the future is somewhat terrifying.
Imagine a robot companion accompanying you as you play; sounds quite innocent until you realize that Sony doesn’t mean a virtual figure. The plan is to create a physical companion who would be sat next to you on the sofa while you’re gaming—and what’s more, this robot would be able to pick up on all your emotions, using advanced artificial intelligence.
Of course, the intent from Sony is for the robot friend to be an affable and supportive robot pal, a companion to offset the isolation that some feel when playing digitally. And the robot would be able to follow your progress through a game, sympathizing when things don’t go so well and celebrating when you beat down a boss without breaking a sweat.
You may have conjured up an image of a stereotypical robot, but that’s not what Sony have in mind. Think of a cloud with eyes and legs, and you’ll be closer to their design; it’s a fluffy sentient being that uses biological sensors, microphones and motion detectors to pick up on your every mood. Not creepy at all, right?
The Robot Companion is believed to still be in development, but there is more than a hint of every sci-fi horror movie that you’ve ever seen in this idea…even if the companion looks a tad fluffier than your usual android maniacs from the silver screen.
Gambling for Games Consoles
Given some other weird and wonderful ideas offered up by Sony, the concept of gambling might seem rather tame by comparison. However, games consoles have historically kept far away from gambling, and developers had their knuckles rapped previously by the gambling-like elements of loot boxes.
However, it seems that Sony were undeterred as they’ve quietly lodged a patent for an esports, a system which would allow consoles to calculate new bets for players to place constantly throughout play. Options could include “Player B gets shot in the next minute”, and the odds would be based on the previous performance of the participating player or team.
The idea is that the framework would mimic how live sports betting works for traditional sports, but within a games console/esports environment. Betting giant bwin believes that it could be a positive step forward, with a spokesperson saying, “It will be interesting to see what the future holds with both Canada and the US markets opening up.”
When an idea is a bit crazy, it might be described as bananas, but in this case, we literally mean the controller is a banana.
In recent years controllers have become increasingly complex, and Sony’s idea was creditable, with an attempt to make life much simpler. But in trying to make things easier, they’ve inadvertently made things a lot weirder too.
The concept is based on the notion that any passive object should be able to work as a controller, with virtual buttons included rather than the real deal. This means that practically anything could work as a controller using this tech—a cup, a tube of toothpaste or a book, to just name a few examples.
Sony could have picked anything to illustrate their idea when applying for the patent, but they picked a banana. Somehow it seems appropriate…