There comes a point in history when people realize that they have run out of names for things, and it looks like the patent system has reached that episode in its own life. Either that, or Sony is deliberately trying to stir ripples in the figurative water.
Sony has filed for a very unusual patent. Unusual not just because of what it is supposed to define, but because of its name.
The name is EyePad. A homophone of the word iPad, which happens to be the name of Apple's tablet, for which Apple has fought many a patent war over, and is still fighting.
We will refrain from speculating how much time will pass before Sony is being accused of being a name stealer.
Instead, we will concentrate on the technology itself and what it could mean for the world, years down the line.
The patent application shows an “input device, system and method” that involves joystick controls, motion sensors (six-axis) and illuminated edges.
Being equipped with touch sensors too, it could very well be meant as a merger of a tablet-like game pad and a motion tracking device.
This has to be one of those rare cases when the picture is worth less than words, since the sketch hardly makes it plain what the surface is supposed to be for.
The physical surface is embedded with touch sensors. Together with the motion tracking technology and a pair of stereoscopic cameras (“of a type typically found in mobile phones and other compact devices”), it might actually be able to recognize objects placed above it.
Thus, the “EyePad” would be able to include random objects in games (create depth mass). Maybe.
EPO has the patent application and all the technical jargon for whoever is interested in reading all the gritty details.