For the foreseeable future, virtual reality (VR) input looks to be mainly focused on two areas: traditional gamepads and, more excitingly, motion controllers. The PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD) for PlayStation 4 is no exception to this rule, offering support for both the DualShock 4 and the PlayStation Move motion controllers. But PlayStation Magic Labs, one of the many divisions working on PlayStation VR hardware at Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), is also looking at some other fields of input.
Dr. Richard Marks, Director of PlayStation Magic Labs, confirmed as much today at the 2016 Vision Summit from Unity. Marks noted that his long-term VR research group, VR Interaction Research, is looking at both hand-tracking and eye-tracking, suggesting these could one day be incorporated into PlayStation VR. Marks also mentioned that the group was ‘keeping an eye’ on new concepts such as light field capturing and laser projection.
Hand-tracking involves controllerless input in which the player’s hands and fingers are tracked by a sensor and appear within an environment. The tech is best seen in its present form at Leap Motion, which offers its own sensor. Eye-tracking, meanwhile, can be seen in the FOVE HMD. This involves reading the direction of a user’s eyes in-HMD, which can be used for multiple factors such as targeting in-game or even foveated rendering to help improve performance.
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