Microsoft Patents Pressure Sensor Technology for Controller

By | 4 years ago 

Microsoft Patents Pressure Sensitive Controller

While using Kinect to sign-in to an Xbox Live profile doesn’t always work the way it is intended to — due in no small part to the limitations of the tech and the software — Microsoft might be on to something a little more ingenious to get the job. A new patent has been filed by Microsoft that would allow the publisher to put pressure-sensitive sensors into an Xbox 360 controller (or maybe an Xbox 720 controller), and potentially allowing the controller to tell the Xbox 360 who is behind the wheel.

The patent is still just a patent at this point, but if Microsoft does choose to do something with it, the touch security could be an interesting feature. It’s been a while since Microsoft rolled out a new upgrade for the 360 controller — the last iteration featured a rotating d-pad — and with E3 2012 right around the corner that might be a perfect place to unveil such a device.

Microsoft has come out to say that, while they have no plans to unveil a new console, they are going to focus on some significant improvements to the Xbox 360 architecture. The assumption is that part of the press conference will focus on an easier to navigate dashboard update, perhaps influenced by the UI on Windows Phone 7, and a new controller to help the console figure out who is using it could take that to the next level.

Imagine if the Xbox 360 knew that the gamer, or non-gamer, behind the controller used the console mostly for Netflix and rather than boot up a game it booted straight to Netflix. That would be something.

It’s a bit disconcerting that rather than work on a new console (although we know they are doing that do) Microsoft would invest in a pressure sensor for a controller, but if it helps facilitate easier player switches when playing a match of Gears of War 3 or Trials Evolution then we’re all for it.

What other handy uses can think of for an Xbox 360 controller with a pressure sensor? Does the Xbox Live dashboard need a serious update or do you like what is currently available?

Source: US Patent Office (via Engadget)