A newly published patent filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment shows that Sony may be working on some sort of game that works with drones.
According to the patent, the invention is the usage of image translation technology on a server which modifies what a drone camera sees in real time, into perceived video game objects, such as gems and chests. Here’s another example:
The first picture is what the drone sees, which is a plane, a tree, and a person. Figure 2B shows the tags for the recognized objects, which after image translation shows a dragon instead of a plane on the VR screen. Using similar translations, the player is quickly transported into what seems to be a fantasy world, including a flying dragon that moves in the same direction as the plane is in real-time.
This isn’t only exclusive to visual feedback, as the patent also suggests that sounds such as the rotor noises could be replaced with spaceship thruster noises, car honks with dragon roars, and other audio translations.
What sort of game could come from this? The patent suggests that multiple drones could be flying in an arena in a competitive game where objects are meant to be collected or destroyed. In such a situation, drones would most likely be let loose at pre-made arenas with objects that create the desired “game world” as seen through the VR goggles.
Drone races with a first-person view camera mounted is already a thing, and what the translation technology could do is to apply a “game world” filter over it, with perhaps a different objective other than racing. You could also say that this may be Sony’s way of getting over the physical limitations of VR.