New Xbox Controller Patent Reads Your Body

Biometrics. That’s a very modern thing, isn’t it? They use it in passports now, I’ve heard them say so on the news. I think they also put it in laptops for something but I might be confusing it with haptic – I don’t really know what that is.

I always considered biometrics to be a security thing, like when the villain in a clichéd action movie pops out a security guard’s eye and holds it up to a little laser thing to access a locked door. Or when the US airport security make you put your thumb on that little glass thing to see if you’re a member of Al Qaeda.


Well, now Microsoft has filed a patent, reported on The Verge so it might still be developing… The patent is for an Xbox 360-shaped controller that detects things about your body and uses that incredibly personal information to sign you into Xbox Live or present your own personal settings for the dashboard. Probably to determine what adverts to show you too.

Things like finger length, firmness of grip and hand width will be detected. The patent might also extend to some future Kinect-like device capability so that the motion sensor’s descendants might be able to read even more detailed biometric data than it currently uses to recognise your face and sign you in.

Microsoft has said that they file for patents all the time and not everything makes it into future products but this sounds like quite a useful thing to have available in a controller. It could detect tension in a horror game and adjust the tone accordingly. It could sense frustration through your grip tightening and adjust difficulty. It might all come to nothing, of course, but it’s certainly an interesting idea.

Source: US Patent Office, via The Verge



  1. That is both amazing and frightening at the same time.

    • I have to say, I found the tiny little freakish hands on that controller quite disturbing too…

      • To me it looks like the controller is freakishly large.

      • No the hands are tiny! and that index finger is bending sideways : |

  2. It’s all part of Microsoft’s plan to control people’s minds. :-}

  3. I have to say that i would be pretty upset if i used this controller & all of a sudden started seeing adverts for viagra, or piles cream!

    • you should sort those hairy palms out sir….

  4. Interesting, but will ultimately be a novelty if it ever is released.

    Reminds me of Nintendo’s Vitality Sensor.

  5. big brother is not just watching you, now he’s feeling you up. O_O

  6. But what if you do not hold your hands in the exact same position everytime you play games?

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