Sony patents biometric controls

A new Sony patent reveals that the company is investigating the potential of biometric controls.

The patent filing, spotted by Siliconera, covers a device which measures galvanic skin resistance, electrocardio data, and electromuscular data – sweat, heart rate, and muscle movements – with technical drawings showing a Dualshock, Move controller, and a Vita-like handheld.

Sony suggests a variety of ways in which the readings could be used to affect gameplay, using the example of a sniper whose aim would be wayward when the player showed signs of stress. Health bars could decrease more quickly, and melée attacks could also change depending on stress levels.

The reverse applies too, with Sony mooting the prospect of changing music to relax a player who appears stressed, and difficulty levels adjusted dynamically according to biometric readings.

It sounds like a souped-up version of the Wii Vitality Sensor unveiled by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata at E3 in 2009, development of which has stalled after the company struggled to get consistent readings from the device. If Sony can pull this off, suffice to say we won't be touching Dark Souls with it.

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