Sony files patent for the emulating temperature inside controllers

by Danny Craig  · 
Sony files patent for the emulating temperature inside controllers

As a potential improvement to its current haptic feedback features, Sony has filed a new patent that would allow the company to change the temperature of a controller based on in-game scenarios.

The details:

  • The new patent revolves around a deformable elastic sensor that will replace the plastic currently used in the DualSense controllers of the PlayStation 5 to improve haptic feedback through the use of a gel-like material. The sensors will also allow games to directly change the temperature of the controller with haptic feedback, which means that touching a cold or hot in-game item could result in the controller's grips also becoming hotter or colder due to the use of the controller's electrically charged "Peltier element." The aforementioned gel-like material would be able to detect a user's touch and produce electric signals, resulting in "natural haptic feedback.”
  • As this is just a patent, Sony could abandon the idea entirely if it is unable to find a good way to implement the feature, or it may simply not be worth it in the long run. Current controllers for the system already provide more advanced haptic feedback via voice-coil actuators, a type of motor that can deliver more precise vibrations than traditional half-moon-shaped motors found in older controllers. If the new patent is applied to future DualSense models, it could be the next step toward a more immersive gaming experience, but Sony will need to find a way to improve the existing controller's already short battery life, as heating and cooling the controller will almost certainly require a significant amount of power.
  • Many have pointed out that the inclusion of temperature-changing controllers appears to be an interesting but ultimately pointless addition. Some have made fun of the patent, citing situations in previous PlayStation games that don't sound appealing to experience in the palm of your hand, such as Metal Gear Solid 4's microwave corridor scene. According to Reddit user Skycaptin5, who used similar haptic technology at CES "years ago," the experience felt "neat," but left them with a "weird sensation," and noted that unless that was solved, most people would likely dislike the feeling.

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