Patents offer an enticing look at what a company is experimenting with and possibly planning for future products, even if many never make it past the idea phase. VRFocus has seen recent patents appear for a virtual reality (VR) floor mat by Microsoft and a new headset design for Nintendo Switch. Now it’s the turn of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) with possible new designs for PlayStation VR which include possible improved tracking and wireless options.
Spotted by the eagle eyes over at Let’s Go Digital, there’s no question the headset design mirrors that of PlayStation VR, which could indicate ideas for PlayStation VR 2.
In comparison to rival headsets like Oculus Rift/Quest, HTC Vive or Valve Index, for example, the PlayStation VR falls way behind when it comes to tracking the device. The single point PlayStation Camera system SIE uses means the headset can’t offer true roomscale experiences as it would lose the controllers when a player turns around. So the patent addresses this particular problem with what appears to be inside-out tracking, placing two cameras on the front and one on the back (1410) of the head-mounted display (HMD).
Additionally, the PlayStation Move controller also gets an upgrade, with a camera (1730) built-in for tracking purposes. There’s another function for the headset mounted cameras and that’s seeing the world around you. Sounding very similar to Oculus’ Passthrough tech, it would allow users to see their surroundings without removing the headset, plus there are the possible augmented reality (AR) applications.
When it comes to connections the patent mentions both wireless and wired options in various arrays. It discusses a headset which could be fully wireless, with its own power source built-in. There’s also mention of a design with a power supply built-in but a cable connection for video and audio. Or the opposite way around with video and audio sent wirelessly with the HMD still mains connected. Finally, there are the full wired options, either all down one cable or multiple.
These are all feature SIE needs to address in its next VR headset to stay relevant within the field, but there’s no telling what route the company will take.
This week did see the PlayStation 5 name become official alongside a 2020 launch window. The current PlayStation VR will support the new console, so a VR upgrade might be a long way off. For further updates keep reading VRFocus.