Future PSVR Systems Could Track Early Signs of Alzheimer's

future psvr systems could track early signs of alzheimer's

A patent filed by Sony Group Corporation points to the company utilizing its future PS VR devices as diagnostic tools to identify early signs of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The power of Sony’s PS VR2 is setting new standards for virtual reality hardware, and its next accolade may be as an instrument for medical diagnoses.

Launched on February 22, Sony’s PS VR2 is being lauded as a fantastic piece of hardware that pushes the boundaries of virtual reality technology. Its ease of setup, improved light shield along with other impressive technical specs, and its immersive haptic feedback and adaptive triggers for its Sense controllers are all among the elements praised in its design. Sony also supported the launch of PSVR 2 with more than 30 compatible games, including the highly touted Horizon Call of the Mountain, along with another 100 games on the way. Its biggest issue, however, is a rather consumer-unfriendly cost for entry, with the headset starting at $549.99 and requiring the purchase of a Playstation 5 to boot.

On March 16, 2023, a patent was published from the Sakai International Patent Office which shows Sony Group Corporation’s intent to utilize its PS VR technology as an instrument in diagnostic medicine. Sony seeks to create a “method and computer program product for measuring a level of cognitive decline in a user.” According to the patent, the method functions by generating a spatial audio cue from a specific source within a three-dimensionally generated environment, where the user must indicate that source via ocular focus. A second audio cue is then played for the user to determine its originating source, and the time taken by that user to indicate where both sounds had come from within that three-dimensional environment provides healthcare professionals with early indicating signs of dementia.

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Typically, filing the patent means that this technology from Sony is still in its early phases. There is no given timetable for its release, or even an official announcement from Sony yet, but the potential of the PS VR2, even outside of gaming, is something that fans have taken note of. The potential applications within medicine, education, and commerce for virtual reality are aspects of society that other VR companies have begun to explore, and it appears as though Sony wants to be at the forefront of that VR renaissance.

While virtual reality may not have taken over gaming the way some predicted, its future potential remains inspiring, and the PS VR2 appears to be the next iteration in the medium’s development. Branching outside the realm of gaming and into more real-world applications is an exciting prospect, especially when it means helping people, such as in the case of Sony’s new patent.

MORE: Two Games Take Realism to The Next Level on PS VR2

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