After a year of development, design firm Moment Factory has successfully realized GRiD, a large-scale, real-life version of Pong. The game uses LiDAR to track player movements, letting teams of two act as paddles on a giant projected game board.

The Moment Factory team, inspired by the LiDAR technology used to track objects around self-driving cars, spent a year experimenting with the sensor, and wrote custom software to allow it to accurately track moving people.

"With one LiDAR in the corner of the room, we could reliably track the position of a dozen or so people," writes Moment Factory on its website. "So we set about turning our 40 x 60 ft (12 x 18 m) black box into a giant game interface using Unity as a visual and gameplay frontend."

LiDAR sensors, which can track objects in a space by measuring the time it takes for laser beams to bounce off their surface and return, have accelerated development of autonomous vehicles in recent years. But the technology has also been used in other interesting ways, including aiding a recent scan of Guatemalan jungle and potentially revealing a gigantic, undiscovered Mayan city.

The most impressive aspect of GRiD's use of LiDAR is that just one sensor can accurately track an entire space and up to 12 different people simultaneously. The gameplay looks impressively dynamic with very little latency between a person's movements and the corresponding paddle. All this results in a classic video game becoming a very physical experience. A long game of Pong here could most definitely classify as a decent exercise workout.

Moment Factory suggests that while the technology to create this kind of game experience is still a little expensive, it is planning on building an entire series of arcade-themed prototypes following on from this. Such an approach has the potential to turn usually sedentary videogames into heart-rate-raising workouts.

Take a look at GRiD in action in the video below.

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