What if you could feel haptics through your DualSense controller while watching a live stream or pre-recorded video? It may become a reality. Sony recently published a patent for “Haptics Metadata in a Spectating Stream,” which is a fancy way of saying that you could soon be able to hold a controller and feel haptic feedback while watching a pre-recorded video or even live streams.
The patent, which was published on February 4th, 2021, outlines the capability of delivery metadata for “haptic events” during playback of video. The metadata would be encoded as part of the stream, along with the audio and visual data, and then delivered to the viewer on demand. “In this way, previously recorded video can be spectated during playback without losing whatever haptic experiences may have been generated for original playback without having to rely on merely deriving haptic events from audio,” the patent states.
On the surface, this seems to be basically enable Sony to deliver the same haptic feedback data at the time a gameplay clip is recorded and deliver it to the player while watching an on demand video. For example, you could relive the haptic feedback you felt while watching Trophy videos or other captures on your console. But the implications of the patent extend far past just rewatching your own videos.
This patent could allow Sony to deliver haptics via live stream, or even embed the metadata into pre-recorded videos. Imagine watching a streamer play a game via Twitch on your PS5 and being able to feel the haptics of their gameplay through the controller. Or Sony could even have haptics for future State of Play streams and gameplay reveals, letting players get even more immersed in the trailers and gameplay videos by holding their DualSense controller while watching.
But it gets even crazier. Later portions of the patent detail delivery systems for haptics beyond just touch. These includes methods of delivery metadata that would trigger haptic release of scents and tastes via hypothetical pieces of tech designed for that purpose. The patent goes on to describe haptic events in games, VR in particular, that could release sweet, salty, or sour tastes via a mouthpiece, or release scents via a scent pot.
It’s important to keep in mind that patents are just theoretical. Loads of patents get published that never make it to actual products. This patent was first filed back in July 2019. Arguably the most plausible part of this patent is the encoded metadata within a stream or prerecorded video, given the fact that the technology is already in players’ hands with the DualSense controller. As for the technology being used for taste and smell cues? Maybe Sony’s angling to make the next PSVR headset the most immersive one yet, but we’ll settle for being a little more immersed in a State of Play or livestream video.
What do you make of this patent? Would you like to see haptics incorporated into livestreams and videos? How about those hypothetical taste and small haptics? Let us know in the comments below.