Sony Patent Reveals Biometric PS3 Controller And Handheld

By Spencer . November 1, 2011 . 1:00pm

Way back at E3 2009, Nintendo announced the Wii Vitality Sensor, an accessory players would clip on their fingers to feed biometric data (specifically the blood-oxygen saturation level of your index finger) into a video game. Plans for the Vitality Sensor have been put on ice since the device has difficulty performing with consistent results.


Perhaps, Sony will get the jump on biometric controls? A patent application reveals their possible plans for a biometric controller and handheld with specifications similar to the upcoming PlayStation Vita.


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The patent also has design schematics for a biometric DualShock3 controller and PlayStation Move style wand.


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Sony’s proposed devices will measure three biometric factors: galvanic skin resistance, electrocardio data, and electro-muscular data or in plain English – how moist your skin is, your heart rhythm, and muscle movements. All of this information will be sent into a video game by simply holding a controller or handheld. How are games going to use this? Sony has a list of ideas in the patent application.


  • Weapons that change depending on how stressed you are. An increase in stress level could make a weapon more accurate or less steady, which will make it difficult to target an enemy. Sony specifically mentions a sniper situation where the weapon becomes more steady if you’re relaxed.
  • Tensing up your muscles to withstand an attack or charge up a shield.
  • A video game character whose facial expressions, movements, posture, and even voice changes depending on your biometric data. For example, this character will sweat when a player is nervous.
  • An adrenaline style boost which will let you run faster, jump higher, and punch harder when stressed.
  • A health bar that depletes more rapidly if you have a high stress level.
  • An attack button that changes a character’s move depending if the player is stressed or relaxed.
  • Background music and scenery that changes depending on your stress level. Matching music is one example, but Sony also proposes to change music to make a player more relaxed. Brightness of objects and the zoom level, representing a higher level of focus, are two ideas for scenery.
  • A game that adapts difficulty levels depending on a players stress level.


Which idea do you think has the most potential as a game mechanic?

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