PSVR 2: Sony wants to enable communication via hand tracking
Is rudimentary hand tracking coming to PSVR 2? Sony is looking to improve the accessibility of virtual reality with gesture control.
According to a patent filed by Sony, certain actions in VR games on the PSVR 2 could soon be performed without the Sense Controllers. Instead, the VR headset's tracking cameras will capture certain hand gestures. For example, you could use your hands to express emotions in VR games.
Heart emoji via hand tracking
Sony wants users to be able to associate certain gestures with actions or images in their profiles. The PSVR 2 will then record the user's hand movements via the tracking cameras. When a saved gesture is recognized, the system converts it into the associated action within the VR game.
Once created in the profile, the gesture could trigger the same action universally in all compatible VR games. However, this is not comparable to the precise hand tracking of Meta Quest 2. As an example, Sony mentions forming a heart with your hands, which could trigger a heart-eyed emoji.
Gesture control should ease access barriers
The patent talks about a new, more beginner-friendly form of interaction. Since communication methods currently vary depending on the VR game, Sony says that VR newcomers could be overwhelmed by the changing input methods (different controller inputs, speech, or eye movements in eye-tracking).
These barriers to entry need to be mitigated, especially for gamers who have difficulties with controller input due to physical impairments. Sony therefore sees a need for improved systems and methods for personalized control and communication in VR.
Sony continues to be creative with patents
Whether this system will ever be implemented is questionable. Sony continues to show creativity in patent filings, but not all ideas are realized. Just in March, a patent surfaced that would allow the PSVR 2 to whisper warnings.
An audio signal would alert players when they get too close to their own virtual playground boundary, or when children and pets enter the guarded area. The signal could be modified to sound in the voice of familiar game characters or the users themselves.
Another patent introduced a vibrating visual warning system. For example, when an object enters the game area, a speech bubble appears at the edge of the screen. Eye-tracking measures whether the player sees the warning. If they do not, the PSVR 2 starts to vibrate more and more.