Philips Entertaible - Electronic Multi-Touch Tabletop Gaming Platform
By Mike Hanlon
September 3, 2006
September 4, 2006 Earlier this year Philips showed a prototype Entertaible at the CES in Las Vegas. Today, it is unveiling the finished fully integrated tabletop gaming platform at this year's Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin. The multi-purpose platform enables a new class of gaming that combines the excitement of electronic games with the fun and social interaction of board games. Entertaible enables simultaneous multi-user interaction, object detection and recognition. Initially targeting social gaming away from home in locations such as pubs, bars, hotels or restaurants, Entertaible has the potential to evolve into a gaming platform for the consumer market.
Since the presentation of a functional prototype last January, Philips Entertaible has developed the concept into a robust and integrated gaming platform, operating stand-alone and ready for market testing. When given Internet connectivity, options like tournament games and network gaming become possible. The low-profile design pushes the technology more into the background, further focusing Entertaible on the new gaming experience. The seamless interplay between the real and virtual world brings board game playing to another level of enjoyment.
Entertaible uses proprietary digital shape recognition and multi-touch sensing (patent pending) to interpret the moves of several players simultaneously. This generates a highly interactive, intense gaming experience where speed and clever tactics are essential to win. The simultaneous tracking encourages players to make their moves in real-time by dispensing with the need to wait for their turn, and allows participants - with practice - to plan moves in advance and react immediately to the actions of the other players. The use of physical objects like pawns and bats to directly manipulate the virtual world enhances the sense of magic.
The platform supports products for social gaming as well as for other markets like infotainment services and educational applications in both the professional as well as the consumer domain. Philips Entertaible is initially targeting social gaming away from home in locations such as pubs, bars, hotels or restaurants and plans pilot testing at several partner locations in Q4 2006.
The Entertaible platform demonstrated at IFA 2006 comprises a 32-inch horizontal LCD, multi-touch and shape recognition technology, BaryBass for small-form factor bass reproduction, and PC-based control logic, all housed in a robust table-top unit only ten centimeters in height. This allows the Entertaible to be used in a wide range of settings and lighting conditions, and the hardware to be custom fitted in furniture. At IFA, the Entertaible is housed in furniture that matches the theme of the Philips booth in Hall 22.
"At IFA we will be showing the unique capabilities of this platform in a fully integrated form. As a result of focusing on the end-user needs in multi-user social gaming, we have created a compelling entertainment proposition. In the next phase we will further validate our proposition through field trials with key partners and show we can move the gaming experience up to a higher level", explains Maurice Groten, General Manager of Philips Entertaible.