The paper, written by Sony Interactive Entertainment’s R&D engineers Kazuyuki Arimatsu and Hideki Mori, deals with the evolution of machine learning techniques in regards to hand pose estimation. Essentially, it discusses how machine learning in combination with a proximity sensor-equipped controller can estimate the position of fingers and then replicate that within a virtual environment. This follows on from a patent published earlier this year showing a controller equipped with finger-sensing technology.
The video demonstrates the controllers – which here look very much like prototypes, or at least non-consumer devices – and the virtual representation of hands when different movements are made. The controller’s proximity sensors are able to detect when each finger is touching or lifted away from the device, and software is able to fill in the blanks and animate gestures, allowing for motions such as rotating your thumb. No external cameras are used to observe the user’s hands, which is a solution used by Oculus for the Quest headset’s controller-free interface.The paper does not specifically mention PS5 or PSVR2, and Sony has made no suggestion that the PS5 will launch with a new VR headset. However, this research into machine learning and new controllers suggests that Sony is looking into advancing its VR technology. Perhaps this will evolve into PSVR2, but it seems sensible to not expect anything soon.
For VR you can play right now, check out the best PlayStation VR games, including gems like Superhot VR.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.