Sony wants to know exactly who is using their products, and, to reach that goal, the company in May 2012 filed a patent for a unique user recognition system.
The patent request is titled “Process and Apparatus for Automatically Identifying User of Consumer Electronics,” and it describes the inclusion of fingerprint sensors that would be used to collect biometric data on phones, keyboards, gaming controllers, and various other devices chosen by the electronics manufacturer.
In the patent abstract, Sony writes:
“A user of a device may be uniquely identified using a metric that is contingent upon the user using the device for its intended purpose without the user having to perform a separate step, function or operation for the express purpose of identifying the user.”
Sony is not the first tech company to examine biometric data collection via gaming consoles; Nintendo at one point announced the Vitality Sensor, a device the company ultimately decided not to release after less than stellar public opinion for the potential product.
Sony in its patent request says the data collected from each users would allow it to collect and display context-sensitive content that would be automatically generated based on the user.
The new system could be the perfect way for gaming users to ensure someone else does not access their saved games and destroy all their hard work. The system could also have practical applications in mobile phone security and gaming controller settings based on user preferences.
However, privacy experts are likely to speak out against the system despite its capabilities.