Sony thinks ‘touching is good’ also

News has recently surfaced on a patent filed by Sony that hints to the development of a touchscreen gaming device. The company has applied for two patents related to the device and one of them is codenamed ‘Phil Harrison’.

Phil Harrison is listed as the inventor of the device on the patent applications, which gives some insight as to why they’re using his name as a codename considering he’s no longer with the company. Other reports that have hit the net give a slightly detailed glimpse as to what Sony may have up their sleeves, “One application shows a handheld touch device that would allow both direct and gesture-based input and which would also provide force feedback across the entire display through a system known as ‘tactile pixels’ – a grid of small bumps would lift to reach the screen and help simulate physical button presses or other effects based on touch input.”

There’s also an important passage on the second filed patent that states, “while existing touch screens are configured to receive a mechanical input and provide a visible output, [they] are not configured to provide both a visible and a mechanical output”.

What makes things even more interesting is the fact that the description of the device isn’t just limited to a single application, it can include “a gaming device, a phone, a portable media player, an email device, web browser device, or navigation device.” So is this the rumored PlayStation Phone that many have been talking about? PSP2? Or both? Is Sony trying to cut into the iPhone and DS market? Beats me, but there is definitely something up over at Sony corporate HQ.