Patents, we love ’em. When else do we get to peek directly into the idea-pantry of big companies like Sony. On the shelf today is this application for an “Input device, system and method,” which as mundane as that sounds, actually appears quite the contrary. The flat, tablet-like illustration is described as having six-axis motion sensors, joystick controls, and illuminated edges that “provide a similar functionality to that of the illuminated ball of the Playstation move.” So, this would work not only as a physical surface (it has touch sensors too), but also as a motion tracking device in conjunction with the EyeToy. That’s not all, though, as there are plenty of references to a pair of stereoscopic cameras “of a type typically found in mobile phones and other compact devices” at each end of the touch surface — allowing it to create depth maps. The result described in the application is an area above the “EyePad” where objects can be recognised, and perhaps incorporated into a game. We’re not making that leap, either, as it’s Sony itself which refers to existing controllers of “systems or entertainment devices such as the PlayStation 3.” Of course it would be a leap to connect it to, say, a forthcoming announcement. While this all sounds really exciting, we can’t help feeling like we’ve heard that product name somewhere before..