Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
June 16, 2019
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Sony Computer Entertainment America Files 'Laugh Detector' Patent

Sony Computer Entertainment America Files 'Laugh Detector' Patent

August 17, 2009 | By Kris Graft

August 17, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

As new types of input devices change the way we interact with our video games, Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a patent that would track users' laughter and emotional output when playing a video game or watching other types of media.

Published in the European Patent Office on August 6, and unearthed by Siliconera, Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a patent for a "laugh detector and system and method for tracking an emotional response to a media presentation."

In short, it's a system that "...asks and answers such questions as: What makes people happy? What makes them laugh? What do they find interesting? Boring? Exciting?" according to the filing.

The system would collect a user's emotional output -- such as laughter, a smile, or a yawn -- via a microphone and/or a camera, for example. The feedback would then be tied to metadata "at a time reference level in the media presentation," in order to track the kind of response a player or viewer would elicit at a specific point in a presentation.

The patent also said the system could implement a 3D camera system, specifically naming the ZCam by 3DV, which has since been purchased by Sony rival Microsoft. A 3D camera in the emotion tracking system would recognize the shape of an individual's head and use that as a reference point for detecting facial expressions, the patent said. It could also sense multiple individuals, for example, giving each other a high five.

While the patent's title indicates that the invention is a laugh detector, the filing goes on to say that the invention would ideally be able to sense other emotions, such as sadness, excitement, anger, boredom, and so on. Emotions from a wide group could be tracked via a network as well.

The patent doesn't go into specifics beyond what the system would do beyond tracking users' emotions, but one could imagine how future games might evolve in real-time in order to accommodate, or even exploit, a users' electronically-perceived emotions.

Below is an image from the patent filing:


Related Jobs

Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States

Director, Art Management
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States

User Experience Researcher
Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Square Enix Co., Ltd. — Tokyo, Japan

Experienced Game Developer
Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States

Lighting Artist

Loading Comments

loader image