Imagine laser tag with a million players all on the one battlefield. It's ridiculous to even think about, but the creators of iTager claim that their system makes it possible. It's a ground-up reimagining and re-engineering of laser tag replete with fully-wireless, remote-controllable systems that work in all weather conditions over a whopping 2,500 ft (760 m) and that can easily be mounted onto existing laser tag weapons (or even your hand or a bicycle) or purchased preinstalled on rifles the creators made themselves.
"During the last five years we have been collecting, improving, and experimenting with the commercial [laser tag] equipment and learning their weak points," says lead developer Alexander Palamarchuk. They sought to overcome these constraints in areas such as range, accuracy, reliability, and damage resistance, and have now assembled five working prototypes that have been successfully tested outdoors in the team's native Russia.
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Unlike the standard systems used at typical laser tag arenas, iTager cuts the cable between weapon and hit sensor so that you can move with absolute freedom. Settings can be changed remotely, too, via the integrated Wi-Fi and MESH networks, for either individual players or the entire team. Its 2,100 mAh lithium-ion batteries allow for up to 50 hours of play time – more than enough for even the most epic of laser tag battles.
The shooting itself isn't as sophisticated as IRLShooter, though. Players have just one damage point to aim at or protect, as the hit sensor wraps around the head like a headband. On a more positive note, sound effects through a loudspeaker built into the iTager system can be augmented by headsets for team chat. The system also has capacity for video streaming, but in order to reduce cost there's no integrated camera.
The computer or smartphone running the show can track player positions via GPS as well as receiving a real-time stream of scoring data. And there are 10 game modes to choose from, including domination, VIP escort, and stalker.
ITager is currently on Kickstarter, seeking US$30,000 in pledges to fund a production run and additional testing and enhancements. A basic DIY set of the hit sensor and the system on a motherboard will set you back US$120, while the rifle/sensor combo starts at $360 and a 10-piece set of hit sensors and rifles costs US$3,450. If successful, the iTager team expects to ship in April.
You can see the iTager system in action in the Kickstarter pitch video below.
Sources: iTager blog