Microsoft has created a huge hit for the Xbox 360 gaming console with the Kinect add-on device. The motion sensors and the camera on the device have caused people to rethink how they play and interact with console games. Recently, Microsoft launched a version of Kinect for Windows PCs.
Now it looks like Sony wants to join in the motion sensing bandwagon. The company filed for a patent application with the US government several months ago for such a product. The application became public earlier this week. It describes a method for what Sony says is a "real-time three-dimensional interactive environment using a depth sensing device."
The patent application definitely describes a product that is extremely similar to Kinect. It states:
Generally, embodiments of the present invention allow the user to interactive with, and affect, computer objects and environments that are combined visually with the user's actual physical environment. Through the use of a three-dimensional camera, three-dimensional images can be obtained in real-time. These three-dimensional images are utilized to place digital objects within the user's environment, track the user's movement, and accurately detect when the user interacts with the digital objects.
Sony previously launched the Playstation Move, a motion-sensing controller for the PS3 console that is held in one hand. It is very similar to Nintendo's controller for the Wii console. Ironically, the person who lead the development of the Playstation Move controller, Richard Marks, is listed as the author of Sony's motion sensing patent application.
Image via Sony