Sunday, August 31, 2008

Music Catch: Play Your Music (Future Exergame?)

After playing the new downloadable version of the popular online game Music Catch, I would love to see someone make an full body interface to play with the game. A common theme I hear from teens is that they wish they could play their own music, and from what we know about motivation that would be a good thing. Having the ability to choose game levels, characters, opponents, and songs furthers a player's sense of autonomy and oftentimes motivation to continue playing. Check out more pics after the jump. At first playing the pre-loaded songs was fun, but after loading a couple of my favorites songs (mp3) it suddenly became another game altogether. First of all you've probably listened to your favorite songs maybe a thousand times, but you've never INTERACTED with it like this before. Simply catch the music notes by moving your mouse and be sure to collect the special bonus notes (Yellow - larger cursor, Purple Power - black hole vortex) and avoid the bad note (Red - shrinks cursor). As the song plays, the line where the notes originate rotates around the screen and the game seems to be tied into a music spectrum. In some ways its like interacting with your music player's visualization settings and it's quite cool to listen to the highs and lows of the song and be able to play a game with it. I really feel that customization will be a key component of future exergames and Music Catch would a really cool game for which to develop a physical interface (Eyetoy, Wii, or some other vision system). Any developers out there looking for a challenge? Let me know.
[Via Gamertell]

Wii Walk on Google's Street View

Hacking the Wii Fit Board is becoming so common, I bet we'll see twice as many hacks by next year. And here is the rest of it.
Via Make & Wii Blog]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Virtually Real-ity Therapy: Moving images, treadmills, and bodies

Using virtual reality-type/exergame technology in rehabilitation is not a new concept, but University of Portsmouth (Australia) Ph.D student Wendy Powell is conducting a clinical trial with her school and McGill (Canada). Using an adapted treadmill, Wendy developed software to mimic urban streets and mountain view passes. Her system was developed to help recovering stroke patients by having...
"...moving images to trick the patient’s brain into thinking he or she is walking more slowly than they are which in turn encourages them to walk faster and further."
At the Games for Health 2008 in Baltimore, there was a prototype stroke rehabilitation project (PDwii) that used Wii technology, specifically the Wii-mote. In the press release photo, there appears to be a sensor on the lower back of the patient, but the article did not mention what technology was used. I'll contact Wendy and then update the post.
[Via Medgadget & University of Portsmouth]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mana Potions Need More Power

Are you a WoWer who's always wondered how fast you would have to run in real life to run as fast as you World of Warcraft character? Check out after the jump to see how fast WoW players run on a five minute 'Race Across Azeroth'. The Mana Potions team of Aaron and Elijah set their treadmill interface to make their real 6mph run equal their avatars virtual 12mph. What...6mph not that fast - well check out the end of the video where Elijah draws his sword and wipes out. A possible scenario if someone where to write a script and hack the Wii Mote into the game. be continued I assume.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wii like to Roomba with Surfin'ba

A great hack of the Wii Balance Board + Roomba = Surfin'ba. Ron Tajima posted his hack to Youtube but maybe somebody will make a game out of cleaning the house and you can accomplish two things at once. Hmmmm? Good student project.
[Via Gizmodo]

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fitspott: Spotting Exergamers

Cortland Alumni David Gise (1991 - BS Adult Fitness) created Fitspott, a new social networking platform for anyone interested in health and fitness, a robust platform to meet, communicate, exchange ideas and more. Fitspott also wants to organize the very large and convoluted health and fitness industry into easy to navigate sub-communities of members with similar interests, goal, skills and needs. Currently they are in Beta testing and they will be launching mid September 2008. Fitspott will be collaborating with me and my students to see how Fitspott might be used by physical educators and exergamers.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Not to be confused with Chia Pet, Pet Rock, or Tamagotchi (たまごっち) the PS3 EyePet looks to tap into our nurturing personalities. Maybe all families should have to take care of an EyePet prior to getting a real pet. With a lat 2009 release date, you'll have plenty of time to draw toys for it, roll oranges at its feet and clap to wake it up. It looks like they've incorporated the same technology from Camspace.
[Via Kotaku and Joystiq]

Wii Need More $Money & Speed

Wii'll we ever see the end to peripherals for the Wii? Rhetorical question of course. For $100, this Logitech "Speed Force Wireless" force feedback driving wheel wants to get you closer to the action. In a lot of ways, using haptic devices will be more common in the future as UI's and overall game interaction become the norm. Don't forget about an earlier post on the Novint Falcon 3D gaming device and the MOG Fit bike with 3 force feedback locations (seat, front axle, rear axle)
[Via Joystiq]

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Samba de Amigo! Ole!

Finally las maracas have arrived. The release of this oldie but goodie Sega Dreamcast game seems to be the verge of being cultish. The reported release date is late September and for $15 for the maracas and more for the game, plus the downloadable songs.... I guess Nintendo can keep saying "Shake Those Money Makers".
Songs that will be part of the games 40 song playlist are:

Mambo Mambo – Lou Bega
I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow
Are you Going to Be My Girl – Jet

Vamos A Carnaval – WaveMaster*
Volare – Gypsy Kings
Hot Hot Hot – Arrow*
Salome – Chayanne*
Tubthumping – Chumbawumba*
The Cup of Life – R. Martin*
Samba de Janeiro – Bellini
Mambo Beat – Perez Prado*
Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin*
Bamboleo – Gipsy Kings
Take On Me – Reel Big Fish
El Ritmo Tropical – Dixie’s Gang*
Macarena – Los Del Rio*
La Bamba – Ritchie Valens*
Tequila – Chuck Rio*
Soul Bossa Nova – Quincy Jones
Samba de Amigo – Bellini
The Theme of Rocky – Bill Conti*
Mas Que Nada – Jorge Ben*
Sway – Gimbel and Ruiz*
El Mambo - Solemar
Baila Me – Gipsy Kings
Papa Loves Mambo – Perry Como*
Mambo No. 8 – Perez Prado
Conga – Miami Sound Machine*
Low Rider – War
Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega*
Oye Como Va – Santana*
Asereje – Las Ketchup*
Arriba Allez – Bellini
Magalenha – Bellini and Mondonca Do Rio
Ran Kan Ran – Tito Puento*
Groove Is In the Heart – Dee Lite
Jump in the Line – Harry Belafonte*
Do It Well – Jennifer Lopez*
Como Ves – Ozomatli
Cha Cha – Chelo
Pon de Replay – Rihanna
Smooth – Santana*
Mexican Flyer – Ken Woodman*
Borriquito – Charo
Un Aguardiente – WaveGroup
Solo Tu – WaveGroup
Tango With Me – WaveGroup

[Gizmodo via Amazon via Wii Fanboy & Kotaku]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


After Qmotions' real splash onto the exergaming scene a few years ago at CES for their Golf product, I think their Qmotions-FunFitness Full Motion Game Controller slipped passed my radar. With the small blue circular attachment that can be added to most home recumbent stationary bikes (not to be confused with regular recumbent bikes-ha), and the adapter for your game controller, racing games become human powered. The faster you pedal, the faster your car/hot rod/ORF/BMX/ etc... goes.

I'm not sure if I get their generic title of "Full Motion Game Controller" for all their controllers as they do not enable full motions. I think other similar bike controllers like Cateye Gamebike are good but I'm quite taken by the Gamercize line of products as it allows you to play many more games and not just racing type games.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Sticks in the Air" like you just don't care

Is it a cellphone, drumstick, scratch pad sampler or none of the above? Japanese company KDDI partnered with Yamaha to develop seemingly real working prototypes as depicted on their website. I thought my slider phone takes a lot of abuse, I can only imagine the places where this mobile device will end up.

Monday, August 18, 2008

iPosture for Life

Although there is no game involved with this new device designed by a neurologist and a rehabilitation expert, one could argue that there could be some behavioral changes as a result of wearing the iPosture. And here is the rest of it.
[Via Ubergizmo]

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dance Bollywood = Dance Mela

Ben just showed us Dance Mela from India. Culturally relevant games is so important whether they are electronic or not.

Ubisoft's iQuit

Jeff Dickstein showed Ubisoft's new DS title iQuit. Helping smokers to quit, iQuit with Allen CarrT is set to launch in November 2008.

Gamercize UK

I'm at the Games for Health Exergaming Summit in Portland, Maine sitting next to Richard Coshott from Gamercize UK. I've been following his device for a while but I realized I've never posted it on this blog. I really like how Richard described how he would let kids play as much as they want as long as they want, so long as they use the Gamecize. Love, love, love this concept.! Thank you Richard!

EyeToy Hero and EyeToy Pom-Pom Party

Set for a holiday 2008 release date, EyeToy Hero and EyeToy Pom-Pom Party have been developed with 1:1 motion tracking.Details were releases by a Sony SCEE rep yesterday at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival I love the variety of games for EyeToy geared towards kids of all ages and interests. I am in the middle of collecting data using EyeToy Kinetic and the teens I'm studying really like the challenge of the games.
[Via Darkzero]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sensational Floor

Senscell displayed their 250 square foot touch sensitive LED floor at the 2008 World Expo.
Although designed to remind users of their ecological footprint, it could be programmed for game purposes.

[Via Gizmodo]

They say Wii, We say V-Sports, V-Sports!

They say the highest form of flattery is imitation - so here it is. Hong Kong based Rumdes is offering the V-Sports console for less than $80 US. That's not bad for the 21 games being offered many of which are similar to the Wii Sports mini-games.
[Via technabob, Akiba Blog (Japanese) via QJ.Net]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Bouncing Star" rubber ball

As more and more developers work towards melding games and electronics, we're bound to see many more projects like this Bouncing Star which was presented at SIGGAPH 2008. In some ways it kind of reminds me of the Lacoste video and FiiWa we mentioned earlier. It looks like the accelerometer in the ball senses movement/acceleration and changes color and the ball can be played on it's own or with an interactive floor. Using the IR sensors to interact with the "digital court" with motion graphics or other interactive functions. Let the Night Games Begin!
[Via Gizmodo]

Monday, August 11, 2008

miCoach is miPhone

Samsung's fittest addition to the mobile market is a slider device that not only has integrated fitness software on board, but also comes with a heart rate monitor and stride sensor (pedometer?). The miCoach was produced in conjunction with Adidas. Before going for a run with the F110 miCoach
..."Attach the heart rate monitor to your chest and stride sensor to your running shoe laces, and the phone will connect and register with them automatically. You can view your heart rate and other details onscreen in neat graphics while you're running."
I'm hoping this phone has some of the ubiquitous computing options especially with GPS and social networking capabilities like some other recent mobile devices featured earlier (au Smart Sports, Flaik, Bones in Motion, Loopt, Motion Based, PerDiemco, RealPlay, MobiPad, WiiRider, WayFinder Active ). I hope it is easy to wash and is somewhat water resistant especially if it's going to be worn while running.

[Via Picture House]

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Spongebob Squarepants Pedometer

I just saw this being advertised but there aren't many details except that it'll cost $8.95. And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Large MIDI Controller

Family Force 5 had Don Bwack custom create a seven foot square MPC style midi controller. Holy Hanna Batman! I could see a lot of steam being let out playing this beast.
[Via Gizmodo & Bwack]

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