Interfacing real world ball skills with the computer game
August 21, 2006 The Computer Human Interface (CHI) comes in many different guises, and has come a long way since we punched holes in cards with paperclips. Indeed, games appear to be the key laboratory for the CHI as we continually see new ways of getting real world and virtual world to mix in a computer game. In recent times we’ve seen such interesting game interfaces as the Bodypad, Xboard, Entertaible,, the mental typrewriter, and the Virtusphere and now we’re really impressed with ICE’s Striker Pro which is a soccer striking game where the player takes a penalty kick at a success goal – just the World Cup was decided. The machine records the speed and angle of the soccer ball after it is kicked and reads the information into the game in real time so a virtual ball is kicked into the game with the same power and trajectory for an incredibly realistic experience, complete with goalie histrionics, umpires call and crowd feedback. The machine retails for US$11,000 and the level of difficulty can be adjusted from two year old all the way to world cup professional. Now the technology used to create the Striker Pro is being adapted to other sports and the developers of the Striker Pro, eballgames is seeking distribution partners wishing to develop games for other football codes, golf, baseball, hockey, tennis or any other sport. “We have been getting it all working just right for the last few years and we now know we can build the interface and the software for any sport, and deliver 100 machines on time, so now we are seeking people to work with around the world,” said eballgames founder Tony Course.
Dotcom success story Tony Course was the co-founder of a customer relationship management software package named Loyalty Magic in the early nineties, and has been developing eballgames technology for the last three years.
Using infrared technology, the eballgames machinery measures the direction and speed of the ball using infrared sesnors and reads into the game real-time. “That was probably the hardest bit to get seamless,” says Course, “as no-one wants to have an experience that stops for a few seconds – it destroys the feeling of being part of the game.”
"Once we got that working in real time, we knew we had a compelling experience, and now it’s just a matter of developing for individual sports," said Course, "and now we're ken to see who we can work with."
EballGames can be contacted here
The image gallery shows the Striker Pro soccer game and a game based around the same technology for Australian Rules football.