New patents show that Sony could be developing fingerprint, voice and iris recognition scanners for use on the PlayStation 4.
Sony has filed patents for biometric scanners.
Fingerprint recognition, iris scans and biometric sensors used to be the preserve of private banks, dashing but fictional British secret agents and tourists planning a holiday in the US. However, Sony has filed patents that show that the Playstation 4 could well use the same cutting-edge security techniques to recognize its users, protect their account details and ensure they receive highly targeted marketing campaigns.
First reported on by PlayStation Lifestyle, the patent filing is an attempt by Sony to ensure security and give its users peace of mind following 2011's hack on its system. By combining facial and voice recognition with fingerprint, hand and iris sensors, Sony believes it will be creating the most robust security system for protecting players' identities, their credit card details and their accounts. What's more: it will also prevent games piracy, something that is already hitting the console industry hard. However, as many in the tech community have highlighted, it is also a way of creating and launching highly targeted and highly specific advertising for its products and services.
Voice analysis and facial recognition are nothing new and will probably be accepted without any opposition by customers who are used to being automatically tagged in pictures on Facebook and who have used Microsoft Kinect and numerous smartphone apps. But iris and fingerprint recognition might prove to be one step too far for some gamers.
Although Sony is yet to make an offical statement either about its patent or about its next console, rumors abound that the PlayStation 4 could be on track for a Christmas 2013 release. However, the tech giant has developed a reputation for giving each of its games consoles a 10-year lifespan and so, as the PS3 hit the shelves in 2006, it's a very strong possibility that the next generation PlayStation won't arrive until 2016.
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