New Virtual Reality to Beat Wii

Discussion in 'General' started by MelT, Sep 12, 2007.

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    Dor Givon ducks and weaves, and the animated figure on his computer mimics the movements, narrowly missing a right hook, and then landing a good solid punch on his opponent's face. There's a smack, as the blow makes impact and Givon turns, adjusts the small web camera attached to his laptop, and says: "It's as simple as that. The camera tracks my every move."

    This is XTR - Extreme Reality, a south Tel Aviv startup that has developed a technology that allows a user's three-dimensional body movements to be translated onto the computer in real time. When you run, so does the animated character in the game. When you throw a punch, or mimic the moves of tennis, the computer character does the same.

    While many game developers are moving rapidly into this field, what makes XTR unique is that players don't require any special hardware to play these games. All they need is an ordinary webcam - something many computer users already own - and software. ThinkMinority Report, but without the glove.

    This is the first time anyone has managed to translate the movement of a person into a three-dimension space using only software and a single camera. "For years people thought it was impossible," admits Michal Ludzki, 30, the company's CEO. "Game developers cannot believe we have managed to create this movement with software only. When they play with it, they are amazed."

    The gaming industry is huge. It's worth an estimated $25 billion now, and is expected to be worth $50 billion by 2009. One of the hottest trends is three dimensional user movement. In recent years there has been a move away from computer games that encourage children to sit still for long periods of time - thought to be a cause of childhood obesity - to those that require movement. Today there are dance mats and boxing games.

    "People don't want their children to be coach potatoes anymore," Ludzki told ISRAEL21c. "This is a huge market and it's growing fast."

    There are many methods to translate a player's movements to the computer, but all of them require some kind of specialized hardware. Some companies use colored patches, or sensors attached to the player's hands. These broadcast information on the player's position in 3D space to the computer. Other alternatives include special cameras which emit infrared signals and record the echo as the signals hit the body.

    The most popular game on the market is Nintendo's Wii console. Players hold a remote control that emits a signal to the computer about the their location and movements in 3D space. The computer senses the location of the remote control, and responds. Games offered are fairly simple, like boxing or tennis. Ludzki says that according to The Economist, Nintendo's Wii will be in one third of homes in the US by 2009. "It's a huge success," says Ludzki.

    "The Nintendo Wii can only be played with the remote control in your hand. The game judges your position in front of the TV by the location of the remote control," says Givon, the 36-year-old company's founder and CTO. "In contrast, XTR turns the player into a virtual joy stick. Your figure inside the game moves just as you do outside of it."
  2. cool stuff man. im so blowed and that blew my mind.

    I guess it was only a matter of time anyhow, right?

    None the less, very badass, can't wait to see it progress :)
  3. have you ever seen the making of a game --for example madden, they dress all the players up in those skin tight suits with those nodes on their joints to measure movement and upload that into the game. This is what ^^^ sounds like to me. Ill stick to the Wii.

    i mean...punching and kicking would get so repetitive, and running?? if im gonna do that i might as well go outside.

    But ya, obviously VR is not going to make itself happen, looks like theyre making progress, but you will not see any type of revolutionary virtual reality 'console' if you will for 10+ years, gotta walk before you run

    I mean, besides Wii's motion sensing controller I dont even see why the Wii was mentioned, as for beating the Wii, how can that statement even have been made when as of now the only people using VR are designers. No competition seeing as this VR isnt in full production. --Thats like saying my car is faster than yours but i havnt built mine yet
  4. I remember when Nintendo came out with the Virtual boy i was so into that now i cant even find one i use to love those things.
  5. ^^ 30$ on ebay w/ accessories and games

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