Sony is eyeing its own EyePad, but it’s not a device that is meant to compete with Apple popular iPad. Instead, the device would act as an input device for an entertainment console. The device may end up becoming a device for Sony’s current and upcoming Playstation console.
Published last week by the European Patent Office, Sony’s patent describes a wireless controller that looks like a small tablet with a touch-sensitive surface. There would also be motion sensors to detect the movement and position of the controller. The device could also include a couple of stereoscopic cameras that could pick up motion above its surface.
By using the dual cameras included, the EyePad could allow people to interact with one of Sony’s virtual EyePets, as the patent explains below:
The depth maps from the two stereoscopic cameras describe the location of points on the surface of the user’s index finger within the common volume, and hence it is possible to calculate whether those surface points coincide with the surface model of the virtual EyePet. This gives the user the precision to stroke the EyePet’s ear, tap its nose, tickle its tummy, or otherwise interact with it in very specific ways, and moreover to do so for whatever arbitrary position or orientation they are holding the EyePad in.
The patent mentions the Playstation 3. Assuming the device ever sees reality, Sony could pair it with its upcoming PlayStation 4. The company will host an event in New York City tomorrow at which it’s expected to announce the PS4 and possibly other new gaming devices.
Apple may not be too happy with the device being named the EyePad. But the name carries on the Sony tradition of using the word “Eye” in its products, notably the PlayStation Eye camera and the EyePet.