Valve to create video game console with biometric controllers, gaze tracking

January 10, 2013 - 

Valve has announced it will begin to make a Linux-powered console video game system and has plans to integrate biometrics into its controllers.

“This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination,” Valve CEO Gabe Newell said in an interview with The Verge. “We think that, unlike motion input where we kind of struggled to come up with ideas, [there’s potential in] biometrics. We have lots of ideas.”

“Motion just seems to be a way of [thinking] of your body as a set of communication channels. Your hands, and your wrist muscles and your fingers are actually your highest bandwidth – so trying to talk to a game with your arms is essentially saying ‘oh we’re going to stop using ethernet and go back to 300 baud dial-up,’ Newell said, adding that Valve is not only looking at biometric controllers but also gaze tracking technology.

This new Valve system will not only play games, but users will be able to do almost anything with the system. Newell boasts the system’s ability to download and install programs and apps, use a web browser or install Windows if Linux isn’t your style. “You can do whatever you want,” Newell said.

Valve isn’t the first to look at introducing biometrics into a video game system. Many of the big players have filed patents or had a brief foray in the space and it’s no wonder why. From wearable controllers, dance mats, vibrating controllers and surround sound, video game systems have long been competing to offer the most adaptive and immersive experience to its users.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, a new Sony patent suggests biometrics will be included in its PlayStation 4 system in an attempt to better identify its users. Also in BiometricUpdate.com, Microsoft filed a particularly interesting patent which looks to add real-time facial recognition so users can join a game, just by entering the room.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj