Sony is Reportedly Working on a Next-Gen Finger-Tracking VR Controller

It’s no secret that Sony has been working to develop finger-tracking for a new VR motion controller, but for the first time, we’ve actually caught a glimpse of the tech in action. A new video and research paper, entitled ‘Evaluation of Machine Learning Techniques for Hand Pose Estimation on Handheld Device with Proximity Sensor’ have been released online. Important to note is that the work was authored by Kazuyuki Arimatsu and Hideki Mori from Sony Interactive Entertainment, the division specifically responsible for the PlayStation brand.

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“We built a prototype with 62 electrodes and recorded training datasets using an optical tracking system,” the report states. “We have introduced 2.5D representation to apply convolutional neural network methods on a capacitive image of the curved surface, and two types of network architectures based on recent achievements in the computer vision field were evaluated with our dataset. We also implemented real-time interactive applications using the prototype and demonstrated the possibility of intuitive interaction using fingers in VR applications.”

A video, appearing to show what could be the prototype VR motion controller in action posted online by Upload VR, shows how the finger-tracking update would significantly improve gameplay. Much like Valve’s Index Controllers, sensors are able to tell when a user is gripping the device with all of their fingers and similarly when a finger is removed. The video claims that this technique doesn’t use any external vision to track the position of fingers as seen in the controller-free solution on Oculus Quest.

The Sony VR motion controller prototype rumours are gaining traction, but nothing has been confirmed just yet. All we know is that the PS5 launch is still incoming and that Sony is gearing up for what could be its biggest Summer to date.

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