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PS4 Virtual Reality Headset Inventors Include “High-End R&D Flight Simulator”, “F1 Driving Simulator” Creators; Possible Sensors Detailed

December 27, 2013 Written by Sebastian Moss

sonyvirtualreality

Sony has filed yet another patent for its oft-rumored PS4 Virtual Reality headset.

Sadly, the patent – published on Christmas, but filed in March – adds little to what is already known, with the accompanying text almost identical to previous applications, but it did prompt PSLS to look into the background of those listed as the inventors, showing some promisingly impressive job histories.

First up is Simon Benson, Senior Development Manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, who previously was a producer at Evolution Studios (DriveClub is said to make heavy use of the VR headset). Before that, Benson worked at BAE systems on flight simulators, with his LinkedIn saying:

During my time at BAE, I worked on high end R&D flight simulators. I won a gold award for innovation (the highest award in the corporation) as well as a silver and several bronze awards.

As well as:

I am a Senior Development Manager with a background in managing high-tech. software development projects. I have a background in interactive entertainment development in the motor racing genre and also high end R&D simulators in both the military and motor racing fields. I also have a history of working with stereoscopic technology.

The other inventor is Ian Bickerstaff, Senior Engineer WWS Stereoscopic Team Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, whose LinkedIn says:

Ian Bickerstaff is a 3D specialist at Sony Computer Entertainment. He is responsible for providing stereography support for 3D games on the PlayStation 3. Previously, he worked for 15 years in the simulation industry developing advanced 3D visualisation displays for BAE Systems. He also played a major part in developing the world’s first F1 driving simulator for a top motor racing team. He has created a number of stereoscopic demonstration films and holds several 3D patents.

While researching further, PSLS came across a Sony patent filed in March 2012 that was published this month for a Head Mounded Display. However, as it isn’t specifically from Sony Computer Entertainment, it may be to do with an unrelated headset, like the Sony’s HMZ, or the intriguing unreleased Prototype-SR that our Japanese-based correspondent Heath Hindman was lucky enough to be terrified by. Nevertheless, even if the patent is for another Head Mounted Display (HMD), it does seem likely that tech was shared between Sony Japan (hardware and software) and the SCEE team (software). It states:

Unlike a structure similar to glasses whose weight is mainly supported by a nose piece, the head mount display can be worn while easing the strain on the user by distributing the load of the device over the entire head.

Most of the patent continues to describe how uniquely comfy the device is, especially to one’s earlobes, while another patent describes what the HMD could include:

Also, in the present embodiment, the head-mounted display is equipped with a plurality of sensors such as a mounting sensor, an accelerometer, a brightness sensor and the like. Outputs of these sensors are input to the CPU.

As of now, the PS4′s VR headset is still a rumor, but evidence is mounting. The original rumors claim a reveal in 2014 (the earliest chance could be CES from January 7th), with a release in fall 2014. The sources claim Sony aims to best the current VR king the Oculus Rift, notably with the help of the PlayStation Camera.

How much would you be willing to pay for a good VR headset? Let us know in the comments below.