Officials from tech firm Collaboration Properties have announced that they have licensed its patent portfolio of videoconferencing technology, to Sony on a non-exclusive, worldwide basis, including the possibility of the technology appearing on PlayStation 3.
According to the official statement, the license "covers Sony's video conference apparatus as well as other products, including video-enabled personal computer products and PlayStation products. Specific financial terms were not disclosed."
Although no specific examples of the use of the licenses are given, Sony officials have already suggested that the PlayStation 3 will feature video chat as part of its free online service. The imminent launch of the Xbox 360 webcam will also make video chat possible and likely on Microsoft’s console, meaning that at least two of the three next generation consoles will offer the feature.
The legal ramifications of such offerings and the potential for misuse and a subsequent public or governmental backlash have not completely been addressed by either company, although Sony did go to some considerable lengths to work with children’s charities with the launch of the video chat enabled EyeToy: Chat
"Due to their market leadership, CPI is extremely pleased to add Sony as its latest licensee," said Gerald Burnett, chairman and CEO of parent company Avistar. "Additionally, we hope that this licensing agreement will open up possibilities for market collaboration between the two companies in the future."