New Sony Controller May Let You Draw Your Own Buttons Using Conductive Ink

The controller can be completely personalized according to a user's need.

Story Highlights

  • Sony has recently patented a new controller that can be fully customized per a person’s needs.
  • You could customize the controller’s button layout, spacing, and shape using electrical ink.
  • It could also feature “anti-fatigue” buttons that can modify the way standard buttons work.

Sony is always ahead when in securing innovative ideas that the gaming industry has not seen before. Some of these discussed ideas, however, are completely wild in theory. A new patent published by the company wants to bring a controller that you can fully customize. It reminded me of the PlayStation Access Controller until the patent noted that you can hand-draw the button layout, spacing, and shape using electrical ink on it.

The legal document dubbed “USER-CUSTOMIZED FLAT COMPUTER SIMULATION CONTROLLER FIELD” explores giving full control to users for customizing a controller. Jumping into the technicalities, the user will need a regular Sony controller to set up the customizable one. During the set-up process, the hand-drawn buttons of the customized controller will need to be pressed together with the buttons on the regular controller. 

This will let the personalized controller know which drawn controller corresponds to which button on a regular Sony controller. It’s worth noting that Sony may also allow users to select the shape of the controller. In some snippets, the company mentions an example of a parallelepiped-shaped device, but it also discusses the possibility of spherical and other shape options.

A player with a customized controller base 700 (Figure 7) without any button yet formed on it may draw, e.g., using conductive ink, any of the buttons described herein on the top surface of the controller, in any layout, sizes, and shapes desired by the player,” reads the patent.

The image shows a user interface for set-up of the customized controller Image | Source: Patentscope
The image shows a user interface for the set-up of the customized controller | Image Source: Patentscope

The doc also mentions the controller featuring a special “anti-fatigue” key, which can modify how certain buttons work. For instance, users press and release a button a single time, but the system will assume it’s still held. Or a player may press a button a single time to make the system believe it was pressed twice. The feature will allow for more customization and opportunities during gameplay.

Sony argues that the current off-the-shelf controllers may not be able to meet everyone’s needs. That can be due to a multitude of issues, including gamers having disabilities. It has already addressed these concerns with the Access Controller, but the ability to hand-draw buttons could be more intuitive and resolve more concerns of gamers. The proposed controller may also feature audio feedback to help players with certain disabilities.

As understood herein, computer simulations such as computer games typically involve use of an off-the-shelf game controller which some people may find difficult to manipulate.”

The image shows a customized controller with an off-the-shelf controller resting in a holder | Image Source: Patentscope

All in all, Sony is known for publishing outlandish patents that are full of unique innovations. There are many just discussing new controller features alone. For instance, it once patented adding a one-hand mode for its controllers. The conglomerate has also explored the idea of emulating temperatures in controllers to reflect gameplay.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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