While opinions are divided on how video games affect young minds, one thing seems to be definite – spending a lot of time playing sit-down games makes kids fat. Fortunately, gaming systems like Wii and Kinect are getting players active. Now, motion capture and medical diagnostics company Intellect Motion hopes to take that trend farther, with a line of active gaming products aimed at keeping children fit.
One of the products, the SMotion unit, contains a set of LEDs and is worn on the player’s belt. A regular web camera tracks the beams of those LEDs and processes the data using algorithmic software to determine the player’s body position in real time. It is reportedly ten times more accurate and responds ten times faster than camera-only systems such as Kinect.
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Another device, that can be used instead of SMotion, is the PMotion. It’s a platform that the player stands on, which detects shifts in their center of gravity – it definitely looks like it would be useful for developing core stability. While the company admits that the product is “very much like Nintendo's Wii Fit,” it is said to be much more precise, plus it can apply force feedback to make the gaming experience more immersive.
The IM Gun is sort of like a hand-held SMotion. By moving it in the real world, players can control first-person eye view or travel direction in the game. Intellect Motion claims that “it features the highest XYZ accuracy in the market.”
The GameCube, finally, is a rather elaborate-looking set-up in which the player wears a harness that is hung from a frame by elastic tubing. By suspending the players’ weight, the system can detect the effects of gravity on their body, and get the gameplay to respond accordingly. It can be used in conjunction with SMotion and PMotion.
All of the devices can be put to use in a shooter game known as Xonotic, which was designed for the system. Its gameplay was inspired by Unreal Tournament and Quake, and it integrates 16 game modes – all of which involve a lot of moving around. The trailer for the game can be seen below.
We paid a visit to the Intellect Motion booth at CES, and were told that the company plans to introduce the system at cyber café-like locations in various US cities over the next six months, starting with New York City.
The devices can be seen in use in the the following two videos.
Source: Intellect MotionView gallery - 8 images