Guys, I don’t like where this is going.
The big thing in gaming in the last few years has been making them ‘immersive’- so we touch our games via touch screens, we have force feedback in our controllers, we move our arms and legs to move our characters in games via motion controllers, cameras scan us into the games, we speak to our games using voice input, we stand on peripherals that detect our balance and orientation, and virtual reality promises to fully put us in the world of our video games.
Before that happens, however, we’ll continue to get piecemeal peripherals that try to replicate that sense of immersion. And some of them sound creepy.
Take, for example, this newest sensor that Eurogamer reports (thanks to some detective work over on the part of the trusty folks on NeoGAF) Sony has patented: it is a sensor for your mouth that detects the changing chemical makeup of your saliva.
The miniature sensor fits behind your two front teeth and detects the levels of enzymes and hormones, detecting your emotional state. To be specific, the patent says:
“Emotion recognition or understanding the mood of the user is important and beneficial for many applications; including games, man-machine interface etc.,” the patent states. “Emotion recognition is a challenging task due to the nature of the complexity of human emotion; hence automatic emotion recognition accuracy is very low.”
So this sounds like something patented with the purpose of being used in video game software. And that’s just disturbing.
Of course, it is to be remembered that companies file thousands of patents a year, and a minuscule amount of them ever actually come to pass. Still, this one is just bizarre, and freaks me out.