The Steam Controller looks good but where are the biometrics?


Earlier this year Gabe Newell himself hinted on The Steam Controller including biometrics. In an exclusive interview with The Verge, he said that Valve has been testing with biometrics for years and that it can make a great difference and impact on games.

We think that, unlike motion input where we kind of struggled to come up with ideas, [there’s potential in] biometrics. We have lots of ideas. I think you’ll see controllers coming from us that use a lot of biometric data. […] Biometrics on the other hand is essentially adding more communication bandwidth between the game and the person playing it, especially in ways the player isn’t necessarily conscious of. Biometrics gives us more visibility. Also, gaze tracking. We think gaze tracking is going to turn out to be super important.

The odd thing is that Gabe Newell didn’t even know that a touchpad would make it to The Steam Controller.

In one of the designs that we’re building on the controller side, it has this touchpad and we’re trying to figure out where that’s useful. We don’t want to waste people’s money by just throwing in a touchpad. Once we understand what the role is of multitouch in these kind of applications then it’s easy to say you can use your phone for it.


Which brings us to the question that why biometrics was removed from the final controller if it was giving more “visibility” to Valve? What possibly drove them to completely omit the feature? The Steam Controller is indeed a revolutionary controller among the controllers currently present. Recently Valve announced what were three big announcements from its part. The Steam Controller was the 3rd among the announcements, preceded by SteamOS and Steam Machines.

Stay tuned with us as we bring you more information about the controller itself.

  • Grim

    They must have be a good reason to omit biometrics from the controller. Besides, they are still beta testing the controller so they might end up adding it later on.

    Perhaps they might have separated the tech into a dedicated hardware, Kinect style. I’m curious about the smaller Steam Machine that could stream game from your Windows PC and think that the eye tracking tech might be art of that Machine. Something like SteamTv (maybe) might find Steam Eye Tracker on a Steam Machine useful.

  • mike