The PlayStation Eye (trademarked PLAYSTATION Eye) is a digital camera device, similar to a webcam, for the PlayStation 3. The technology uses computer vision and gesture recognition to process images taken by the camera. This allows players to interact with games using motion and color detection as well as sound through its built-in microphone array. It is the successor to the EyeToy for the PlayStation 2, which was released in 2003.
The peripheral was launched in a bundle with The Eye of Judgment in the United States on October 23, 2007, in Japan and Australia on October 25, 2007 and in Europe on October 26, 2007.
The PlayStation Eye was also released as a stand-alone product in United States, Europe, and Australia. EyeToy designer Richard Marks stated that the EyeToy was used as a model for the rough cost design.
The PlayStation Eye is capable of capturing standard video with frame rates of 60 hertz at a 640×480 pixel resolution, and 120 hertz at 320×240 pixels,which is "four times the resolution" and "two times the frame-rate" of the EyeToy, according to Sony.
The PlayStation Eye also has "two times the sensitivity" of the EyeToy, with Sony collaborating with sensor chip partner OmniVision Technologies on a sensor chip design using larger sensor pixels, allowing for more effective low-light operation. Sony states that the PlayStation Eye can produce "reasonable quality video" under the illumination provided by a television set.
The camera features a two-setting adjustable fixed focus zoom lens. Selected manually by rotating the lens barrel, the PlayStation Eye can be set to a 56° field of view (red dot) similar to that of the EyeToy, for close-up framing in chat applications, or a 75° field of view (blue dot) for long shot framing in interactive physical gaming applications.
The PlayStation Eye is capable of outputting video to the console uncompressed, with "no compression artifacts"; or with optional JPEG compression.
The PlayStation Eye features a built-in four-capsule microphone array, with which the PlayStation 3 can employ technologies for multi-directional voice location tracking, echo cancellation, and background noise suppression. This allows the peripheral to be used for speech recognition and audio chat in noisy environments without the use of a headset. The PlayStation Eye microphone array operates with each channel processing 16-bit samples at a sampling rate of 48 kilohertz, and a signal-to-noise ratio of 90 decibels.
Source: Wikipedia, "PlayStation Eye", available under the CC-BY-SA License.