Sitting on the couch, leaning forward with brows furrowed in concentration: gaming is ‘serious business’. For many, shooting the bad guys and saving the damsel in distress can feel so real, it’s like you’re actually there. It can’t get any better than this, right?
Immersive gaming technology has advanced to the point where you can physically take part in the games, and not just in the classic Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360 Kinect style either. Meet two of the biggest high-tech interactive gaming ‘gadgets’ that revolutionise the world of gaming.
In 2011, Novint XIO produced the first gaming exoskeleton that allows players to feel and interact with the gaming environment on their television screen.
The force-feedback immersive exoskeletal gaming arm functions as a high-tech gaming controller. When you strap it on, the XIO tracks your movements and translates them into in-game motions. But not only can you interact with the environment, you can feel it, too. The exoskeleton can simulate gun recoil, the jarring of a sword striking a shield, weight of objects, and fatigue (by restricting arm movements).
The Gadget Show took it another step further in 2011 when it showcased its Battlefield 3 simulator: a gaming platform that shoots back!
Costing £500,000 to build, the FPS simulator features a 4×10 metre video dome with treadmills installed on the floor, allowing players to walk as if they were in the game. Movements are tracked by ten infra-red lasers and a sensor on the gun, with the Kinect 3D sensor translating player movements (like crouching and jumping) into virtual ones.
To make the game seem just that bit more real, The Gadget Show also installed 4 paintball guns, so whenever the player gets shot in-game, they get a taste of it in real life, too.