Games on Android phones are about to add a new dimension of gameplay. A San Jose, CA company called Immersion has created a way to add a layer of touch to your favorite mobile games, making it feel as though you’re actually there. Through haptic feedback
, the company can recreate the feeling of rain or a ball bouncing around on the screen, and even mimic how it feels to drive a car around the track.
If you've visited a trade show or children's museum lately, chances are you've seen an interactive, motion-sensitive exhibit projected onto a wall or floor. Lumo is the at-home version of this technology, developed by technologists Meghan Athavale and Curtis Wachs who began creating interactive environments for commercial settings. Seeing a demand for a cheaper and more user-friendly version of their product for interactive gaming at home, they're launching an Indiegogo campaign to fund the continued development of Lumo.
We've seen a number of clever learning tools aimed at future generations of roboticists and programmers recently. The latest educational plaything to join the likes of DynePods
, the Kibo
and the Wigl bot
is Hackaball. It's a computer in a ball that kids can program using an iPad, and then throw it around, bounce it off walls and kick it about in completely made up games.
Mini has joined the raft of manufacturers determined to win the hearts and minds of gamers through Gran Turismo 6
, where, unburdened by the stifling regulations that surround traditional racing series, manufacturers are able to let their imaginations run wild. The Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo takes the Clubman's fairly mundane shape and replaces it with a full racing aerodynamics kit, powered by a 395 hp (295 kW) engine.
Mad Catz has revealed two new mobile controllers, each with a different focus. The accessories are designed primarily for use with Android, and aim to improve user experience in gaming and media, both at home and on the move.
In an old school gaming party to end all parties, Google's new deep Q-network (DQN) algorithm is likely to mop the floor with you at Breakout
or Space Invaders
, but maybe take a licking at Centipede
. Provided with only the same inputs as a human player and no previous real-world knowledge, DQN uses reinforcement learning to learn new games, and in some cases, develop new strategies. Its designers argue that this kind of general learning algorithm can crossover into discovery making in other fields.
Zrro (pronounced “zero”) is an Android-based games console currently looking for crowdfunding support. It offers something a little different from the competition, with a touchpad controller that mimics touchscreen functionality on the big screen, allowing users to interact with both games and apps in a natural, intuitive way.
Not everyone needs a table tennis-football hybrid
; the classics are classic for a reason. Those that love the classics of table tennis and foosball but lack the space of a large basement or dedicated game room at home now have a new option. Germany's Kickpack offers cardboard versions of both timeless table games, packing everything you need into handy cardboard suitcases.
It might seem strange that Gizmag spent a good chunk of the busy month of January playing with toys at two major toy fairs, London
and Nuremberg. The toy segment is following consumer technology closely, though, and many of the same trends that we see at major shows like CES
are also evident at the international toy fairs ... only in smaller, simpler, more child-friendly packages. Proclaimed as the world's biggest toy fair, the Nuremberg Toy Fair ("Spielwarenmesse" in German), which wrapped up earlier this week, gave us a good feel for how toy companies are incorporating the latest technologies, including robotics and connectivity.
A new car racing game is bridging the real and the digital worlds. 3DRacers makes use of 3D printing, Arduino-based electronics and smartphone control. Users can design their own cars, 3D print them at home or via 3D Hubs, customize their performance and control them via a mobile app.