ResetEra user gofreak has discovered yet another PlayStation controller patent, which details possible uses of adaptive triggers. The patent was published on the same day as the application for a controller with built-in microphone for voice commands.
The filing is in Japanese but according to a translation by gofreak, it discusses two separate functions: a climbing mechanic and an object cutting mechanic. Gofreak wrote (verbatim):
The first, a climbing mechanic where the left and right triggers correspond to your character’s hands. The gamepad is tilted toward grips on the vertical surface, and the user pulls the corresponding left or right trigger to grasp the next grip. If you pull too lightly, the character won’t be able to hold on and will fall. If you pull too strongly on the trigger, the grip might damage and break off. The grip strength can vary per grip. The left or right vibration can impart to the user the state of the grip along with visual cues etc.
The second, an object cutting mechanic. The gamepad is tilted to control the angle of, for example, an electric circular saw relative to a target object. When not in contact with an object, the vibration and audio from the controller speaker can impart an idle state in the saw. You controller the saw motor with a trigger. When you tilt the saw into contact with the object, the vibration can indicate the contact and the start of the cut. You pull the trigger to activate the saw and start cutting into the object. A force is applied back against the motion of the trigger that depends on the material of the object – wood might impart small resistive force, stone might impart strong resistive force. As you cut through the object, the vibration in the grips also changes vs the saw idle state. When you finally cut clear through the object, the trigger resistance gives way to nothing, and the controller sound and vibration return to the saw idle state. The idea being to basically give you a different sense of resistance while cutting through different objects, and the sense of breaking through when you finish the cut.
Worth noting that Sony has previously hinted that the DualShock 5 will feature adaptive triggers and haptic feedback so this looks like a patent for the next-gen device rather than mere design ideas.