Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Making Games Physical

Getting closer to touch and feel interface design ...

"A new vest from TN Games aims to bring more realism to the video-game experience by simulating impacts. In a first-person shooter, for example, the gaming vest, called 3rd Space, mimics the force of enemy fire.

The vest's air compressor controls eight embedded pneumatic cells that produce impacts of various strengths and in various locations on the player's torso, in response to events that occur in a video game.

The 3rd Space vest is a scaled-down version of a medical device that CEO Mark Ombrellaro is developing. A vascular surgeon by training, Ombrellaro was working on a pilot project for Texas Tech University, experimenting with using telehealth to deliver health care to prisoners. Using videoconferencing tools, doctors treat patients remotely. "Part of what I do normally as a physician is put my hands on people and examine them," Ombrellaro says. Although a nurse is present to perform physical exams, Ombrellaro was frustrated with getting information about patients secondhand. He hired a team of engineers to help him build a system that could transmit tactile information in real time, from a doctor to a patient and back again. The system he came up with includes a special version of the 3rd Space vest with 64 contact points on the abdomen alone. A glove worn by the physician has eight contact points that are used to touch the patient remotely and impart responses. While the medical device has not yet received FDA approval, Ombrellaro says that he was aware from the start that the device could have other applications."    (Continued via Technology Review)    [Usability Resources]

Game Vest - Usability, User Interface Design

Game Vest

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