Gaming as a hobby evokes images of lethargic teenagers huddled over their controllers, submerged in their couch surrounded by candy bar wrappers. This image should soon hit the reset button since a more exciting version of gaming is coming. It’s called neurogaming, and it’s riding on the heels of some exponential technologies that are converging on each other. Many of these were on display recently in San Francisco at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo; a first-of-its-kind conference whose existence alone signals an inflection point in the industry.
Cliff Bleszinski, Chris Roberts, Paul Bettner, and Palmer Luckey share their vision for the future of gaming
The SXSW Gaming Expo is preposterously loud. At one side of the room, aStarcraft tournament is reaching its climax, but on the other side, one group of guys is yelling louder. They sound like a basement full of adolescents discussing the newest Electronic Gaming Monthly cover story, or like the NINTENDO SIXTY-FOUR kid unwrapping his Christmas present.
“Is the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality 3D headset, the future of gaming?” they ask. “Or, is it something bigger — the future of life on planet Earth?”
Hungarian startup Leonar3Do (pronounced “Leonardo”) today demoed its mind-boggling virtual reality software for PC and Mac that lets you manipulate 3D objects as if they were right in front of you. Using a combination of triangulation (using sensors latched on to your computer) and 3D goggles, Leonar3Do creates an environment for interacting with 3D objects for work or for play. The company’s pro software costs around $2000, and the sensors and “bird,” a N64-esque controller cost another $500. But the pro software’s price is set to be cut in half, and a cheaper $50 software package is ready for launch sometime in the next few months. Researchers, schools, and now consumers are the targets — in part because 3D printers have become so popular.
Most games are designed with a computer screen or television in mind – but what happens when the screen is attached to your face? What happens when your body is being tracked? There’s a lot of things that go into making virtual reality systems work, and they all fundamentally change how games are experienced and designed.
Summary: Hidden features, reduced discoverability, cognitive overhead from dual environments, and reduced power from a single-window UI and low information density. Too bad.
With the recent launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablets, Microsoft has reversed its user interface strategy. From a traditional Gates-driven GUI style that emphasized powerful commands to the point of featuritis, Microsoft has gone soft and now smothers usability with big colorful tiles while hiding needed features.
The simple act of turning a page has begun to look outdated with iPads replacing books and manuals for many working professionals. But an augmented reality display similar to Google Glasses frees up wearers’ hands by allowing them to turn virtual pages using their eyes alone.
NEW YORK (AP) — Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the “Sesame Street” crew have always talked to kids. Now, they’ll try to have a two-way conversation with their pint-sized audience using Kinect, the motion and voice-sensing controller created by Microsoft.
“Kinect Sesame Street TV,” out Tuesday, is not exactly a video game, though it runs on the Xbox 360 video game system. There are no winners and losers, no real rules to follow and no points to score. If you don’t want to play, that’s fine. Just sit back and watch “Sesame Street,” as kids have for the past 43 years. But if you do play, Grover will count coconuts you’ve thrown, the Count will praise you for standing still and Elmo will catch a talking ball if you throw it to him.
Microsoft patent filing reveals new depth sensor and 360-degree interactive display
Microsoft’s R&D division is working on a landmark display technology that will project a full 3D game environment across the walls of player’s bedrooms and living areas, a new patent filing shows.
A breakthrough device, known in the patent as an “environmental display”, will project 360-degree game worlds across all four walls of a room using advanced projection technology.
Image: Anoka-Hennepin school district technical support staffers interact from Andover High School with teachers at Blaine High School on the large wall monitors in a telepresence technology presentation Aug. 23, 2012. (Pioneer Press: John Doman)
Anoka-Hennepin ‘telepresence’ allows low-demand subjects to be offered
A handful of classrooms in Anoka-Hennepin high schools might appear equipped for surveillance rather than teaching to students returning from summer vacation next week.
Six giant flat-screens span the space where a podium might otherwise be, and long, semi-circular tables outfitted with built-in microphones stand in place of traditional desks. The rest of the space is empty, devoid of even a single poster on the walls.