According to a newly published patent, Sony is working on a privacy software that would detect when players are taking voice or video calls during gaming sessions and implement measures to protect the player's privacy. Multiple recent patents from Sony have focused on improving the user experience, and this latest patent aims to further build upon player-focused changes.
First founded in 1946, Sony is a Japanese conglomerate with a prolific presence in the technology and gaming industries. Sony has developed the PlayStation family of consoles along with innovations in television, audio, and PC hardware. More recently, Sony has been focusing its research and development efforts on software, including this new call privacy project.
As detailed in its newest patent publication, Sony is working to create software that can detect incoming calls and provide privacy measures to protect players. This would allow players to take calls without having to manually alter their in-game communications, as the software's audio detection would automatically mute their microphone and blur their facecam. In doing so, players' privacy can be better protected from other players utilizing the in-game communication systems. Protecting players has been a notable element of Sony's recent efforts, as reflected in this new software and a previous age-restriction software patent from Sony. While these systems would help to improve player safety, companies frequently file patents that are never fully realized, so there is no guarantee that this call privacy software will ever be made available to users.
Figures 2-3 of the Sony call support patent indicate the process in which privacy measures will be implemented. Game audio will be recognized with any external audio cues, such as a ringtone, activating the privacy software. Other audio input, such as vocal lines that may indicate a call being answered, will also be utilized to activate privacy measures. Once the software determines that a call is taking place, initiated privacy protocols will include:
In short, the call support software from Sony aims to create a hands-free system for muting in-game communications to take voice and video calls without risk of invasion of privacy. Similar protocols, namely the production of audio transcription and subtitling, have also been seen in a separate Sony patent for hearing impared players.
Though none of these patents have yet been made publicly available, and are not guaranteed to be made so, they do reveal to players the core elements that Sony is focusing on in its R&D efforts. Many of the recent Sony software patents aim to prioritize safer and more accessible gaming. As such, it would seem that Sony is looking at ways to make its
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