Sony Patent, Job Listing Again Point to Kinect-Style Cam, “Cutting Edge Game Experiences for the Mass Market”

We’ve talked about Sony’s rumored Kinect-like camera before – a lot. For a quick summary, there’s the original patent found in February, or the one we found soon after, or the Daily Reaction we did on whether the PS4 really needs one, or the creepy patent that wants to watch your emotions. But if you still need convincing that Sony is at least thinking about a better camera for a future PlayStation, we’ve uncovered more.

Recently published, but filed last year, this SCE patent for a camera details how the device would “project [a] reference pattern on [an] interior room surface” to determine the position of a person or object. The PlayStation Eye doesn’t do that, it’s simply a camera, and so it needs the glowing orb of the Move to be able to work out position and depth. Microsoft’s Kinect, on the other hand, emits infrared dots to work out depth. Like this:

It also looks like Sony has already begun work on game development for the product, as we’ve uncovered a job listing for a “Computer Vision Researcher – Human Tracking”:

We require a computer vision researcher to investigate techniques and collaborate with other engineers to create real-time vision systems for games on the PlayStation platform. You will be working alongside Computer Vision experts as well as some of the most creative people in the computer games industry to develop cutting edge game experiences for the mass market. The job will be based in the Sony London Game Development Studio in the heart of Soho.

The successful candidate will need to have a PhD (or equivalent) in Computer Vision and machine learning with a focus on human tracking.

Of course, the job listing could be for the PS3’s PlayStation Eye, but human tracking simply isn’t easily possible with the Eye, if you use the Moeslund and Granum‘s definition:

The analysis of human actions by a computer is gaining more and more interest. A significant part of this task is to register the motion, a process known as human motion capture. Even though this term covers many aspects, it is mainly used in connection with capturing large scale body movements, which are the movements of the head, arms, torso, and legs. Formally we here define human motion capture as the process of capturing the large scale body movements of a subject at some resolution.

So, could you see yourself playing with a PlayStation-Kinect? Or are you worried by the fact that the job listing focuses on “game experiences for the mass market”? Share your thoughts in the comments below.