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Microsoft Patents Xbox Controller That can Measure Hand Pressure

Posted on May 9, 2012 AT 08:10am

Microsoft has patented an Xbox 360 controller that can detect who is holding it based on hand pressure.

The patent, spotted by Engadget, says that the technology allows a standard Xbox 360 controller to, ”reliably determine the identity of the user holding the device” via pressure sensors. The official description:

“A hand-held device having a body with a pressure-sensitive exterior surface. At least a portion of the pressure-sensitive exterior surface is designed to be grasped by a user’s hand. The pressure-sensitive surface contains a plurality of pressure sensors operative to provide an output signal proportional to a pressure applied by the user’s hands to the exterior surface of the hand-held device at the area the pressure sensor is located. The device also includes a memory for storing the output signals provided by the plurality of pressure sensors and a processor for comparing the output signals provided by the plurality of pressure sensors against stored pressure profile signatures for positively identifying the user.”

The sensors will store a profile for each user linking it to their Gamertag, this allows the console to display personalized content based on who is holding the controller.

“Customizable features of the device may be associated with the user identifier,” reads the patent. “In the instance whereby the device is a game controller, the user identifier may comprise a gamertag. The gamertag may be associated with customizable features of the gaming service such as the user’s friends list, social groups, customized skins for the user interface, and the like.”

“Upon logging into the gaming service with the user’s gamertag, the technology provides these features customized by the user via a video screen (e.g., displays customized skin, displays user’s friends list, etc.).”

The patent was filed back in 2009, but has only just been approved. Whether we will ever see this technology put to use is unknown, especially given how old the filing is. It’s a nice idea, however it seems like a tool for marketing rather than enhancing gameplay, just another way to feed us personalized adverts etc. There are some uses like showing you game choices you like, but logging into your Gamertag already offers this. Just another of those futuristic sounding ideas that doesn’t really make things any easier.

Does it sound interesting to you? Would it be worth investing in? Share your thoughts below.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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