Video games have come a long way since the days of Computer Space
and Donkey Kong
. Storylines have become richer and more compelling, the leap from two to three-dimensional environments marked the beginnings of open world gameplay and now we've got virtual reality promising to take things to yet another level. Film producer-turned-hardware developer Matt Long is determined to play a part in this continued evolution of gaming technology by bringing physical resistance and force into the mix with his Realm System.
Playgrounds may seem old school to some kids when compared to the latest video games, but Hybrid Play’s interactive game system turns swing sets and seesaws into games controllers through a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices. The company hopes this open-source, customizable toy will encourage kids to play outside more and spur social interaction.
Though 3D printers
themselves are becoming more affordable, the complexities of 3D modeling software have also proven a hurdle to entry to the consumer market. While some companies have sought to enhance their mainstream appeal with catalogs of pre-designed printable objects
, others are taking a more hands-on approach. Virtual reality firm Sixense, which this week announced its motion controlled solution for 3D modeling called MakeVR, hopes to make the design process more intuitive and appealing for the average user.
Motion-tracking systems like Wii and Kinect have certainly changed the way we play video games – among other things – but some people still complain that there's too much of a lag between real-world player movements and the corresponding in-game movements of the characters. The creators of the experimental Lumitrack system, however, claim that it has much less lag time than existing systems ... plus it's highly accurate and should be cheap to commercialize.
Hot on the heels of the Leap Motion Controller
, which began shipping last week, Leap Motion has released the accompanying software. The software allows people to control their computers with natural movements, detecting both hand and finger movements. In addition, the company launched its Airspace store which includes apps specifically designed for use with the device.
When we first checked in on the Omni
, an omnidirectional treadmill from Virtuix designed to translate the user's physical movements into a virtual world, the company was hoping to launch a Kickstarter campaign in May. It missed that target, but only just, with a launch on June 4. The campaign target has already been exceeded many times over, meaning backers could be getting physical within virtual worlds by January 2014.
The Xbox One
may have hogged the spotlight, but the next-gen console wasn’t the only piece of new hardware Microsoft unveiled this past week. The company also announced a next generation version of its Kinect for Windows
sensor. Built around the same set of technologies as the Xbox One’s new Kinect sensor, the new Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) are aimed more at businesses and organizations than individual consumers.
is on its way. With the clock ticking down to the PC gesture controller’s July 22 launch, Leap has a brand new teaser video that showcases the device’s interaction with Windows. If you'd forgotten how exciting Leap was when we first got the chance to play with it
, this might be enough to get your blood pumping again.
Omni-directional treadmills promise to take things a stationary step further than current motion controllers, such as the Wii-mote, PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect, by translating movements to an onscreen avatar as users walk and run on the spot. The Omni from Virtuix is one such treadmill aimed at home users and its creators recently demonstrated its use with the Oculus Rift
, providing a tantalizing glimpse of its potential to provide an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience and really get gamers moving.
It hasn’t even been released yet but the Leap Motion
could already be considered something of a success – at least with PC manufacturers. Following in the footsteps of Asus, who announced in January
that it would bundle the 3D motion controller with some of its PCs, the world’s biggest PC manufacturer has joined the gesture control party. But HP has gone one step further, promising to build the Leap Motion technology into some future HP devices.