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Patent Supports PSP2 Rear Touch Pad Rumor

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-always-thought-touchpads-were-too-easy-to-see dept.

Sony 49

itwbennett writes "According to Electronista, a series of patents filed 13 months ago and published late last week by Sony Computer Entertainment America may confirm rumors of a PSP2 with back touchpad. Of course, they could also confirm the rumored PlayStation phone. 'In either case,' says Peter Smith, 'exactly what interactions will be performed via the rear touch pad remain to be seen. Without adding a cursor to the display it couldn't be anything very precise (in other words, you wouldn't want to have to tap on a specific spot on the UI), but scrolling through menus, swiping to select items in inventory or panning around a map all seem like viable touch-enabled gaming UI interactions that you can do 'blind.' In shooter games you'll often have a gun reticle (essentially a cursor) anyway so aiming could be done via a rear pad.'"

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Rear touch pad? (4, Funny)

rachit (163465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386106)

That just sounds dirty...

Re:Rear touch pad? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386232)

Yep, I can imagine a class-action sexual harassment lawsuit brewing right now in the US...

Re:Rear touch pad? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386678)

It's always been obvious that Sony customers like getting touched in the rear, the company has been fucking them there for years and they keep coming back.

Re:Rear touch pad? (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386776)

Not really. There are plenty of more dirty words. Crevice is a dirty word.

Leek is a positively disgusting word...

Prior Art with a better name... (1)

KovaaK (1347019) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388116)

The Motorola Backflip [wikipedia.org] calls it the "Backtrack Navigation Pad". I'd assume Motorola already has a patent on it. It's mildly annoying - I've had the phone since April and I still forget it's there 90% of the time. Easy enough to disable in the options, thankfully.

Re:Rear touch pad? Tell that to a naughty Yakuza (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389070)

What if you're a low-ranking Japanese mafioso who has screwed up a few times and are missing a digit or two. Or a fisherman who's had a harsh life at sea, or a particularly clumsy ex-chef. There are a lot of people missing digits (I know two, one boat accident and one animal-related). http://goffee-freelance.blogspot.com/2010/11/psp2-reverse-touchpad-to-annoy-stumpy.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Rear touch pad? (1)

DigitalCrackPipe (626884) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390926)

I call prior art.

Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (3, Informative)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386110)

People don't want touch. They prefer buttons.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386176)

Says who? iPad and iPhone sales would beg to differ and there are plenty of games for them. If you don't want touch then you can buy a different console.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (3, Informative)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386358)

Yep but 80-90% of iPhone games are pretty shit! or low-accurracy, puzzle , block/breaking type casual games.

You buy a dedicated device for gaming having a touch pad alone would be doomed to fail. iPhone and Android devices are more than capable of throwing out enough polygons to match the current generation of handheld consoles (There are some visually impressive FPS's out there ) . but as a gaming platform they suck even simple games like breakout just dont play well. I have to agree with Assemblerex on this one.

That said , in addition to the regular array of buttons / pads - a touch pad might be a nice addition as a complementary control element - but replacing them with just a touch pad is a big mistake.

N.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386674)

Yep but 80-90% of iPhone games are pretty shit! or low-accurracy, puzzle , block/breaking type casual games.

You buy a dedicated device for gaming having a touch pad alone would be doomed to fail. iPhone and Android devices are more than capable of throwing out enough polygons to match the current generation of handheld consoles (There are some visually impressive FPS's out there ) . but as a gaming platform they suck even simple games like breakout just dont play well. I have to agree with Assemblerex on this one.

That said , in addition to the regular array of buttons / pads - a touch pad might be a nice addition as a complementary control element - but replacing them with just a touch pad is a big mistake.

N.

The point is that buttons and the like are fairly indirect and unnatural ways of controlling something you're looking at. Touchpads/touchscreens have their limits but also their advantages. Add gyroscopes for precise movement control and you'll have something that fits much, much better with human (even pre-human) senses and real-life experiences than stupid buttons.

Whenever you have a competition between something that requires the user to learn unique skills and something that leverages deeply rooted behaviour patterns (and finger-touching/moving things you're looking at or tilting a thing to move other things on it probably is evolutionary older than humans) the latter will always win. You won't see it this way if you already have learned that former skill-set but in the long run and with new users there's absolutely no question what they will prefer.

People *can* learn but they very much prefer not having to learn.

Way, way back I learned to control a model airplane with one of the first remote controls. It didn't have proportional controls back then, you had to start a rudder moving by flicking a lever and stop it moving by flicking it again. You *can* learn these things, especially when you're young, but it's an effort nonetheless and while learning it's not fun but just frustrating. Flying a quadrocopter by tilting around an iPhone feels about one or two orders of magnitude more direct, because it appeals to hardcoded circuits deep down in the animal layers of our mind and body.

Of course bad implementations of all this will suck anyway. Bad touchpads and touchscreens, bad layout, bad ergonomics, accelerometers instead of gyroscopes and so on are just bad no matter what. They may still sell in the same way that sex sells, even if it's bad sex.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34386920)

"Add gyroscopes for precise movement control and you'll have something that fits much, much better with human (even pre-human) senses and real-life experiences than stupid buttons"

Not really. Gyroscope type controls have severe limitations. There's a reason why games aren't using the Sixaxis anymore and on phones/tablets they either require a player to move their device so much it's difficult to see the screen or so little there is a problem interpreting movements. When tied to a device with a screen the direction of rotation is also limited

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390554)

Swiping, longpresses, and pinch to zoom are not natural deeply rooted behavior patterns. Nor is controlling the movement of object by tilting another object.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34422034)

Actually, its obvious you have not played or tried iPod/iPhone games. There is a large variety of games that are fairly well done, use novel feature of touch interfaces, but also more "traditional" types of games are coming out using virtual D-Pads and such, which are actually quite well done. I have played through several action RPG style games that use virtual D-Pads with very good results. Its easy to find a few games on a platform with thousands that suck, but as more and more Tier 1 game publishers are starting to recognize that the iPhone platform is a gaming platform, more and more quality games are being released.

Sure, I would not want to abandon my game consoles in favour of iPod/touch only gaming, but first it doesn't sound like the PSP2 is going 100% touch based and second nothing says you can only use one game platform.

Its easy to sound like a douche when you don't know what you are talking about.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34386394)

True, the buttons on fixed location and feel allow one to concentrate on the game, not on trying to find the controls for each game.
Anyway, you can keep your consoles Sony, I have had it with you. I have bought all your consoles so far, but all you do now is keep reducing the capabilities on them, Linux on PS3 as one example. You are also trying to convert features given/promised as free into expensive ones - how long it is until all the rest of PSN features require annual payment too?

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390708)

I have never understood the fuss about Linux on PS3. There are thousands of devices you can install Linux on. Most of them are better envinronments than what Sony initially offered on the PS3. And its not like we don't know why Sony removed the feature. It was being used to hack the system. These hacks are already being used to make copies of PS3 games.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34391466)

Sony marketed it as a feature, and some people bought ps3's because of it. Last I checked, removing a highly-marketed feature is not a nice thing to do.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386714)

Both can work pretty well. Buttons re very exact but touchpads are nice if we have a cursor.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386792)

Having both is the best, and it's actually a good reason to put touchpad on the back in the first place - so that you can have a full-size touch screen in front. Notion Ink Adam tablet is going to do just that, according to their descriptions. They use touchpad to allow you to interact with online stuff that assumes mouse (such as various Flash websites), but it would probably also be used by games and such.

I wonder, though, how this patent will affect those plans now...

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34394128)

I'm pretty sure Notion Ink has been talking about the rear touchpad for longer than 11 months. Of course, as you sew, so shall you reap: Notion Ink claims to have patented their rotating camera, even though there was one in a Samsung phone I got from T-mobile five years ago.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34394156)

er, "sow..."

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (2, Insightful)

illaqueate (416118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386842)

if it's done right sliding across a touchpad will be better than using a right analog for camera/aiming

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

illaqueate (416118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386868)

this isn't equivalent to a laptop touch pad btw. the ergonomics of this is better and the player could travel more (less repeated swiping). the question is if it's accurate enough to track small movements for fine aim

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

illaqueate (416118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34387214)

could also use both index fingers to swipe while using the left analog. there are possibilities there like

i) using one or the other (player would prefer swiping one or other finger depending on the direction they are turning)
ii) tracking both simultaneously for additional acceleration
ii) tracking both for error correcting fine movements without requiring an aim mode to reduce sensitivity too much

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392394)

I disagree. Something like this might get me to buy a console (I know it says PSP, but it will filter to the back of console controllers if successful). The touchpad emulates a mouse much better than a joystick, and is perfect for the types of games consoles are using as a driving force today: FPSes. Playing Halo/CoD/etc on a console vs. on a computer is like the difference between a high school football game and the NFL solely due to the input device. Look at the modifications necessary to HL2 games for the 360 as proof: auto aim toggle and 50% bigger hitbox size. Since I've played FPSes at a high level on computers, I can't enjoy the mind-numbingly slow experience given by console FPSes unless there is a change in the standard input device.

On a side note, I'd love a KBM setup for a console, but I understand the reason it is not allowed. This is a happy medium, attaching a mouse-like option right to the controller.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34393600)

I can't enjoy the mind-numbingly slow experience given by console FPSes unless there is a change in the standard input device.

You know, if you're carrying 80 pounds of weapons and equipment for reals, you probably can't turn 180 in an instant and make 100% accurate head shots at 200 meters. The "slowness" you describe is probably more realistic anyway, especially in something like SOCOM where you don't have a regenerating shield/health.

On a side note, I'd love a KBM setup for a console, but I understand the reason it is not allowed.

What do you mean "not allowed" haven't you ever heard of this little doodad

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Mouse [wikipedia.org]

Don't even think about playing Alien Resurrection without one.

Or played certain famous games that got ported to the PS2?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_Ex_(video_game)#Game_versions [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_life_game#Ports [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34394638)

I understand the realism argument, but the problem is that the skill ceiling is lower. It makes competitive play very lackluster. I enjoy the competitive factor, and anything that takes away from that has a tendency to ruin it for me. It wouldn't be a problem if I didn't play computer FPSes at a high level, but since I do, I can see and feel the differences. Its like watching a movie on a 19 inch TV in SD when you know you have a 56 in HDTV with surround less than 15 feet away. We are clearly different types of players: I play for the competitive thrill and to win, you play for fun and immersion.

Your mouse example is a very outdated and lackluster. I'm referring to modern FPSes where you compete online against other players in multiplayer. Some mice exist for the PS3, but are not allowed for those games, and no official mice exist for the XBox. The skill ceiling and reaction time is so different that it would create a massive rift in the player base...eventually "requiring" mice in online play to not get teabagged nonstop. This is the reason that console communities and PC gamers are separated to different multiplayer environments while playing the same game.

There are hardhacks out there that cost $100+ that are not sanctioned by MS or Sony, and its essentially cheating. I'm not interested in playing against handicapped players with an unfair advantage, I'm interested in playing against the best with the best input devices possible.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34418868)

I play for the competitive thrill and to win, you play for fun and immersion.

Hey, that's pretty insightful. I never thought of it that way before, I guess I do play for the immersion. I like it when players actually communicate tactics and whatnot and not just slurs and insults. I like it when we use actual leap-frog you cover me while I move and then I'll cover you when you move techniques. I like it when someone acts as spotter. "hostiles coming up past the burnt out truck". I like it when we do a good "breach and clear"

I'm not interested in playing against handicapped players with an unfair advantage, I'm interested in playing against the best with the best input devices possible.

I'm wondering what will happen when the PS3 gets it's version of FreeRealms. I've played the PC version and quickly realized that for some of the minigames (specifically the kart racing) a controller would be a handy thing. I suspect PS3 players will quickly dominate the racing. The other parts of the game will probably work okay on whatever control system one uses, the MMORPG combat in it isn't as skill/UI happy as say WoW is.

Re:Ghost of the turbotouch 360 calling (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34419298)

It is certainly true that some game types are much more conducive to a controller. Playing fighter games like soul calibur/street fighter/smash bros or some action rpgs like zelda64/mario64 with a keyboard is absolute torture. I really wish the 360 or ps3 had more enjoyable games in those categories, like the wii has. It'd allow me to justify my purchase.

I, for one... (3, Funny)

magloca (1404473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386120)

...welcome our rear-touching overlords.

Re:I, for one... (2, Funny)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386198)

Wouldn't that be underlords?

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34387420)

You're welcoming the TSA?

Re:I, for one... (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389974)

PSP2: Reach Around Boogaloo.

Just because it's patented... (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386216)

Doesn't mean there's any intention of going into production. It just means they've researched the possibility. If you've spent the money on research, patenting is relatively inexpensive, and the patent is potentially valuable either for licensing out or as a protective countermeasure.

Ow crap.... (1)

galaad2 (847861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386278)

oww crap...
NotionInk has announced that their Adam tablet will have a back-side touchpad MORE than 13 months ago if i remember correctly, and now sony goes on to PATENT NotionInk's idea?

Talk about a new low for sony... patent troll & ip thief in adition to their activities with rootkits & mafiaa :(

How the patent office could have granted such a patent on a publically-announced feature from NotionInk is unbelievable. With this i cannot see how NotionInk can launch the Adam tablet in US without being sued by sony :(

Re:Ow crap.... (4, Insightful)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386288)

The fact that a touchpad can be patented just because it is on a different part of a device is ridiculous in the first place.

Re:Ow crap.... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386778)

Pretty soon, someone's going to patent using a touchpad "... on a computer." and then we're all fucked.

Re:Ow crap.... (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389594)

Download the patent application and globally replace "rear" with "side." This will be the next "innovation" and I just wrote your million-dollar patent application for you.

Re:Ow crap.... (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386806)

It was announced in December 2009, so less than 13 months ago, and if NotionInk had business acumen they would have filed for a patent as soon as they came up with the idea. Either they didn't, or the implementation is different enough that it is granted anyway. Or, y'know, Sony filed before them, and thus has the legalities beat even if NotionInk was the first with a working model.

PSP2? Upgrade to GIMP. (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386482)

Dude, PaintShop Pro 2.0 is, like, so 1993.

Re:PSP2? Upgrade to GIMP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34390784)

Talking like a valley girl is so 1980s, but that isn't stopping you, like, is it?

Dang, they beat me to it.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34386532)

But I did get the patent for the "Crotch Touch, Touchpad" at least.

Re:Dang, they beat me to it.. (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34387756)

You want to patent your hand? I pretty sure prior "art" exists here.

Iphone 4 (1)

robi5 (1261542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34387204)

The Iphone 4 has a glass back cover as a means of testing if the general public is OK with a rear touchpad in Iphone 5. Or maybe the Ios 5.0 will enable it in the Iphone 4 as well !

If my memory serves me... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34387218)

Am I hallucinating or was something similar from Apple - for a rear-mounted clickwheel - mentioned on this very site a year or two back?

Re:If my memory serves me... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#34387556)

Possibly, but they're talking about a rear touchscreen, not a click wheel.

If I recall, there was a paper on using rear touchscreens to deal with the "Fat finger" problem on very small touch controlled devices presented at ACM's April 2009 CHI conference. That's almost the same time this patent was filed, so obviously the researcher had been working on this previous to the filings. The earliest paper I can find mentioning "back-of-device interaction" in the HCI literature is from a 2002 issue of IEEE's "Pervasive Computing" journal (to wit doi:10.1109/MPRV.2002.993144).

I'd say the idea of a rear touch "screen" per se is probably not patentable, having been described in the literature at least seven years before the patent was filed. Of course, that doesn't mean that something necessary to actually producing a usable touchscreen couldn't be patented.

I found something... (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34391856)

Am I hallucinating or was something similar from Apple - for a rear-mounted clickwheel - mentioned on this very site a year or two back?

Here [techcrunch.com] and Here [iphone4forum.net] .

As if the patent wars aren't already at full-pitch.

MS research labs did it years ago. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388130)

How is sony filing for patents on this when MS research labs had prototypes of this running years ago. Did they neglect to patent it? See LucidTouch (http://www.patrickbaudisch.com/projects/lucidtouch/index.html)

It's incredibly useful for tablet-type devices and would be great on a psp-type thing. I've been waiting for some to announce a tablet with this feature to no avail. >_>

Motorola Backflip? (1)

Asten (674521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388132)

How is this different enough from the rear touchpad on the Motorola Backflip that it warrants a patent?
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