Microsoft has patented a new Xbox 360 controller, which in imagery looks identical to a standard 360 control. However, when reading through the patent document, it turns out to feature pressure sensors that the patent claims can allow it to identify the user.
The idea is that instead of going through menu systems to identify a user, the Xbox can immediatley tell who's using it based on their hand position and grip on the controller. Presumably if you squeeze a bit harder it won't suddenly think you're someone else. By knowing who is using the controller, the 360 will provide user specific content, as well as loading that person's profile - at least, that's the idea.
The patent also makes mention of using this system as a security feature. It claims that since the pressure sensors are sensitive enough to identify individuals, it should be possible to use them as part of a login procedure.
Engadget has made the presumption that we'll get a first look at this controller at E3. It might not be a bad step for Microsoft since there was a lot of buzz about the company's potential Xbox 720 reveal, which we learned recently wouldn't be happening.
The patent initially failed in March 2009, but has only now been granted.
Source: Patent Office