There have been numerous reports of crazy ideas Nintendo has sought to patent in the run up to the Switch's release in May, 2017. There was that particular controller that everybody lost their minds over when a fake was revealed, a projector that can display a flat image on any surface and a weird U-shaped peripheral.
But with the more recent onset of patents, it seems there is unquestionably more to the Nintendo Switch than meets the eye. According to some serious detective work over on Polygon, the Switch will come complete with GPS, a compass, motion tracking, a touchscreen, image recognition and a projector all built into its slinky visage.
But remember to take all of these with a grain of salt. Just because they've been linked to the Nintendo Switch doesn't mean they will actually launch with it.
The Future Is Switch
Back in August I reported that the Switch was to include an insanely detailed force feedback system that would seek to replicate even the most subtle of in-game sensations, and possibly even a projector to display images wherever you are on the go. Well, if this patent is anything to go by, I think it may be true.
According to this patent filed back in January and published in August, the projector will be seated on the right-hand side of the Nintendo Switch's chassis next to an infrared camera and a light-emitting distance measuring sensor. This triumvirate of tech will detect hand gestures, shapes and motion and even project images onto the user's hand. Think of it as a mini Kinect, for better or worse.
Alongside this groundbreaking tech, the patents reveal that,
You may be able to steer vehicles with gestures...
Interact with images on screen via gestures...
Play games like Baseball by catching the projected image in your hand...
And can detect how many fingers you're holding up!
One of the patents shows that Nintendo Switch may be compatible with various other Joy-Cons made specific for certain games. Just as artist Ryan Salamanda posited in this lovely work.
Though the patent doesn't go into explicit detail regarding the wheeled controller and its future uses, one image in the numerous patents showed a camera on the back of the device. Now in all the footage we've seen thus far a camera has certainly been lacking. Does this mean we'll be getting a separate camera peripheral to slot into the Switch's side?
With regards to motion control and touchscreens, the patent publications don't go out of their way to discuss them explicitly. But with the sheer amount of tech on display, you can expect them to be included in some fashion, especially a touchscreen.
Isn't this all exciting? A Nintendo with its back up against the wall is by far the most exciting of Nintendos!
If the projector, light sensors and infrared bits and bobs won't come complete with Switch's final build I'm sure Nintendo will release them as separate peripherals, the perennial innovators they are!
If you fancy having a look at the patents for yourself, see below:
- Patent suggesting alternative Joy-Cons
- Patent suggesting the inclusion of gesture tracking
- Patent detailing how Switch will understand gesture interaction
- Patent displaying the variety of gestures Switch can process
What do you think?
Do we need all of this high tech wizardry?
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