During its development process the Playstation 4’s controllers were originally tested to have a very unique in-built feature which could read emotions and details from its player. The tested variants were planned to have a series of biofeedback sensors and detectors to monitor stress levels within the player based upon a number of indicators. This technology, from what was described, seemed to be intended to work in a similar manner to polygraphs otherwise known as lie-detectors.
This information was revealed when Sony’s lead architect Mark Cerny spoken about it in a Stuff interview where he spoke about the machine’s technology. Cerny described the controllers’ development process thusly: "We had a long research project where we looked at pretty much any idea we could think of, Would it help to measure the galvanic response of the skin? We tried out a tremendous number of things - and then we went to the game teams to ask them what they thought they could use from the controller."
The eventual replacement for this system after the sensors failed to satisfy needs was a touch pad and other enhancements which Cerny describes as allowing for more effective use in games. Specifically citing improvements in playing the FPS genre thanks to changes with trigger buttons and the twin joysticks.
Now this subject, it’s not quite as ominous as it first sounds. Yet it is a concerning matter given the backlash against the Xbox One. Microsoft’s rival console was heavily criticised for a potentially intrusive and detailed camera which would scan the room and the vitals of those nearby. Now we learn that another console was similarly planning to monitor personal information of those using it. This appears to be a growing trend in the industry and, in light of Microsoft permitting NSA access to encrypted data, it is a trend which could easily lead to future abuse as it develops.
Still, that is only speculation and for the time being this is simply an interesting insight into a next generation console’s development.
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