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
September 22, 2020
arrowPress Releases

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

Sony, Microsoft Patent New Touchscreen Technologies

Sony, Microsoft Patent New Touchscreen Technologies

November 29, 2010 | By Kyle Orland

November 29, 2010 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC, Programming

Patents filed by Sony and Microsoft suggest both companies may be planning to take touch screen technologies in interesting new directions, with potential applications for future game platforms.

A set of several Sony Computer Entertainment patents, first found by Akihabara News and filed last October, describe a device in which "the visual display is disposed on a front side of the case and the touch pad is disposed on a back side of the case."

According to one patent for a "hand-held device with two-finger touch triggered selection and transformation of active elements," the two sides are "slidably connected to each other ... in a hinged configuration," with the touch-sensitive side able to distinguish a "two-fingered touch" from that of a single finger.

According to the patent, this dual-screen solution improves on prior touch screens on which "the user's fingers often obscure the part that is to be selected making selection difficult."

This matches closely with recent, widely reported rumors that Sony's next PlayStation Portable will contain such a back-mounted touchscreen.

Microsoft, meanwhile, filed a patent application this week for a "light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen" that can add tactile textures to existing, flat touch-screen technologies.

According to the patent, a "topography-changing layer" activated by ultraviolet light will sit atop a touch-sensitive display screen, so that, for example, the device "may provide a tactile reinforcement that [a region of the screen] is currently serving as a virtual button."

The lack of tactile feedback has been a major impediment for many games on current touchscreen devices such as the iPhone, especially for those that try to use the touch screen to emulate a standard directional pads and buttons.

Microsoft hasn't announced any potential applications for such shape-memory touchscreens, but the patent itself suggests the company may be focused on applying it to its Microsoft Surface computing environment.

Related Jobs

Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States

Senior Engine Programmer
Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States

Senior Technical Designer
Random42 — London, England, United Kingdom

UE4 Technical Artist
Evil Empire
Evil Empire — Bordeaux, France

Senior Technical Developer

Loading Comments

loader image