Sony Patents Interactive Playstation Doll

The US Patent Office recently revealed that Sony Computer Entertainment Europe filed a patent for an interactive doll, intended to work with the PS3 and PSP.

Filed back in 2008, Sony appeared to be inspired by Microsoft’s ActiMate for children from the 1990s. Sony’s patent mentions the ActiMate, why it failed, and why their PlayStation Doll will succeed: 

The success of such interactive toys depends on there being a good range of titles for the toy to interact with both at launch and into the future. It is also dependent on whether parents will buy a comparatively expensive toy whilst believing it will require further purchases of videos to maintain their child’s interest.

The present invention aims to mitigate or alleviate the above problem.

 

The doll would be able to move on its limbs, includes a wireless receiver and transmitter, a removable storage medium, and is capable of playing media content. The wireless capability would allow the doll to communicate with the PS3. So when your child is watching a DVD or Blu-Ray on the PS3, wireless signals sent back and forth means that the doll will “follow the spirit of the interactive content on the disk, allowing the toy for example to give generic positive and negative comments as appropriate.”

The storage medium also means that it “allows the interactive toy to appear as though it remembers films and programmes watched with a child, and to engage in commentary and activities related to recently viewed media.” This could also extend the dolls repertoire of spoken phrases and actions.

USB and Ethernet ports allow the doll to be connected to other devices. It will also have pressure sensitive push buttons, a vibration motor, and “a refillable liquid reservoir and a liquid release means (for example to generate tears).” While meant for very young children, if Sony goes with that concept image, which makes it look like some kind of wild liberated Teletubby, it’s probably more likely to scare some kids away.  

Older gamers may be reminded of the R.O.B. robot for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which had a limited number of commands. However, the scope for Sony’s idea is actually quite fascinating. Although the patent lists the toy as interacting with films and programmes, surely the potential is there for it to work with games too, and if Sony ever manages to pull it off then this could be a success.

Do you think Sony is capable of manufacturing something like Teddy from Artificial Intelligence? Or are you worried that upon switching it on, it’ll say, “Hi, I’m Chucky. Wanna play?”

Sources: PlayStation LifeStyle

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