Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Game Fit Cross-Trainer: Slide Your Way To Health

Will the GameFit Cross-Trainer be the next great exergame / "Game Changer?" In Boston at the Games for Health Conference, I spoke with VisionQuest International CEO Brent Meldeau about their Game Fit Cross-Trainer which is planning to debut sometime in early 2010. The images and video are from early prototypes so it will be great to see what they can pull together in terms of product and game play. In the days to come, I will post the audio from my interview with Brent, but in the meantime check out one way you can slide your way to better health. FYI - Sliding can be an excellent way to burn a lot of calories and it is a low-impact activity (easy on joints).

The StepSlider (GameFit Cross-Trainer prototype) is a "Low Impact", "High Intensity" Aerobic Exercise Device. StepSlider, "The Ultimate Interval Training Device" is comprised of two aerobic steps with a slick concave slide board which attaches to the upper most part of each aerobic step whereby the exerciser may either exercise with the step portion only, slide portion only and/or combine the two exercise's together.

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Biray Alsac: Drawing Parallels between Web 2.0 and G4H (#G4H09 Wrap-up)

Here is Biray's presentation from Games for Health 2009 from Boston, MA. Entitled "Drawing Parallels between Web 2.0 and Games for Health" Biray outlined the importance of leveraging Web 2.0 technology to support healthy initiatives and community engagement. She truly embodies her commitment to helping her peers and students engage in meaningful activities and exercise. Check out her Webpage, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles.

Here is her description of her session:
How do certain Web 2.0 technologies impact people’s health and fitness decisions? Are the audiences who spend hours of screen time in online destinations like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Second Life similar to the audiences who are drawn to exergaming and other games for health? Which outcomes from playing video games parallel those who micro-blog, engage in online social networks and nurture their avatars in virtual worlds? As programmers and researchers, what can we learn from making these observations?

Since the advent of broadband technology and the increased prevalence of wireless networks, the web has evolved into a powerful, interactive and ‘real-time’ environment – allowing content to be much more user-centric and user-generated. And because of this shift in digital culture, more fitness professionals are embracing online tools to create everything from fitness podcasts to cyber coaching sessions.

The objective of this brief, informal session is to bring these ideas to the forefront of our conversations, as they relate to games for health. More research is needed in this area and potential collaborative efforts could benefit from having gaming/web-based hybrids.

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Exergame Lab Radio Interview Into Tomorrow: Games for Health 2009

Here is the broadcast of the 2nd hour of the Graveline Radio show. Check out the rest of the broadcast and interviews at the David Graveline Into Tomorrow Radio Show.

Be sure to catch the interviews with Ole Petter Høie, Managing Director – Positive Gaming, Kyle Ward, Musician/Engineer – Positive Gaming, Gary Florindo, President & CEO – LIGHTSPACE Corp., Jerry Heneghan, Managing Director – Virtual Heroes, Seth Sivak, Chief Product Officer – Deep End Interactive, Ben Sawyer, Co-Founder – Games For Health Project, and JoAnna Darst, Project Manager – Humana Games for Health.

And here is the rest of it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Games for Health 2009

Where to begin....??? The Games for Health 2009 from Boston, MA started out great with 2 pre-conference sessions (Accessibility & Virtual Worlds) and news that Ben & Beth were no longer taking registrations through the website or onsite. I think Ben mentioned that 350-400 people were scheduled to come and that is up from previous years. What followed was 2 great days of presentations, vendors, networking and meetings to keep all of us busy for quite some time. Keep your eyes tuned to more coverage, photos, videos, audio and recaps of some of the events.

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Augment eTable Tennis circa 1998

MIT's 1998 Smart Surface was ahead of its time, or maybe it was just on time. Either way the Ping Pong Plus project was created by "Craig Wisneski, Julian Orbanes, Ben Chun and Professor Hiroshi Ishii." and showcased regular table tennis play but the neat thing was that the ball would cause a reaction on whatever image was being projected onto the screen. Hmm - seems like today's mobile phones also have this augmented-reality feature (Click through to see the video at the end of the post). In some ways the pong pong plus project PPPP was the forerunner to the Flo Mueller's Sports at a Distance projects.

And here is the rest of it.
[Via MAKE, ]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stephen Yang Interviewed by Dave Graveline @ G4H09

I was interviewed by David Graveline for his weekly nationally broadcasted radio show "Into Tomorrow: The Consumer Electronics & Technology Show" from the Games for Health Conference in Boston, MA. Check it out later this week. I think I am the first interview of the 2nd hour of the show.

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

PS3 EyePet Crawls Into E3

Another game that was featured last year is the Sony PS3 title EyePet featuring the PS3 Eye. It is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of using augmented reality in game consoles. We've seen AR in other technologies, but over the next few years there will be dozens of new games and consoles that will take advantage of this emerging and potentially "disruptive technology".

http://exergamelab.blogspot.com/2008/08/eyepet.html 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 Sports Resort, Motion Plus (E3)

Due for a US release in July 2009, Wii Sports Resort will come bundled with the new Motion Plus controller/add-on dongle.  So unless you're really hard-pressed to get the dongle - for which none of the older Wii games are compatible (yet), or you buy the new Tiger Woods 10 (June 10 release), just buy the newer games that come bundled with Motion Plus.

[Via Kotaku,  Joystiq, ]
And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tony Hawk's Ride: Hosoi & Rodriguez Guest Appearance (E3)

Call it karma, call it lucky, call it whatever you want. Seeing an astonishing young looking Christian Hosoi in the game trailer really made me sit-up and think of all the sick tricks we tried as kids back in the day.

In my previous post about the upcoming Ride game, I must have had a serious case of cosmic karma:
Now to dig out my closet and dust off my my Van's and find my Christian Hosoi and Mark Fawcett signed boards to re-live some glory days, wipeouts and old scars
Check out more game pics at Joystiq

And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sony 3D Motion Controller with Webcam Wows E3

Rick and Anton from the EyeToy development team showed off their new 3D 1:1 Motion Controller that integrates with a webcam (I would imagine the Playstation Eye).  To lots of applause, the demo goes through FPS demos, archery, fighting games as well as some fun casual games. Due to ship in Spring 2010 I will be waiting to see how this works and would love to try some of the demos.  Watching the demo I can’t stop thinking about the Motus Darwin I demo’s at last year’s Games for Health conference in Baltimore. Hmmmm? One report said that the Motion Controller does not require gyrometers or accelerometers but I will check and update this post.

Motus Games Darwin 3D controller

Click here to see more information from E3 2009

Wii Fit Plus More Workout Modes

Wii is already getting an update with the release of the unimaginative title Wii Fit Plus. The original has already sold almost 20 million units world wide so it’s no surprise that a new title would come out. Segway also makes its way into Wii – and you can bet that more people will ride the virtual Segway than will ever ride the real one. Skateboarding and Rhythm Kung Fu (Tae Bo?) also make their appearance as new games.
New Fitness and New Fun
Wii Fit™ attracted millions of new players to the world of video games. Now Wii Fit Plus offers a range of new features and enhancements to help players reinvigorate their workouts, along with exercises and
balance games designed to keep them fun. Players will find a new dimension to the Wii Fit experience as they easily set their own customized workout routines or choose 20-, 30- or 40-minute workouts based on how much time they have available. Users will also be able to choose from specialized workout routines that focus on an individual’s personal fitness goals or certain target areas. And with the addition of activities like Skateboarding and Rhythm Kung Fu, players will be using the Wii Balance Board™ accessory in a variety of new and fun ways.
• Workouts combine the original Wii Fit activities and selections from 15 new balance games and six new strength training and yoga activities
• Users can input the amount of time they want to spend on their workouts or select an area for personal improvement, and Wii Fit Plus will suggest a number of diverse activities for them.
• For the first time, users can mix and match which strength and yoga activities they prefer on a given day. The seamless exercise flows make it easier than ever for users to maintain their daily workout routines.
• Users might be asked to run an obstacle course across a series of platforms, zoom across a beach on a Segway® x2 Personal Transporter or flap their arms to help their hilarious chicken-suited characters aim for targets.
• The range of games and customization options will make players want to play every day. They’ll be having so much fun that their workouts will seem to fly by in no time at all.
• Players also can see estimates of calories burned and can even activate a feature that lets them weigh their dogs or cats.
• Wii Fit Plus comes packaged with the Wii Balance Board accessory. For people who already own Wii Fit, the Wii Fit Plus disc will be available for purchase separately.

Click here to see more information from E3 2009

Wii Vitality Sensor Take The Pulse of The Nation (E3 2009)

At E3 in L.A., Nintendo unveiled their new health egame / fitness game/ health monitoring application. No big news about games, but I would guess this strategy will compliment the new Wii Fit Plus and future apps in Nintendo’s arsenal. It makes sense in terms of providing more health information to the user and if only the data was portable and secure enough to be put on an EHR (Electronic Health Record). BTW – Google and Microsoft are already really active in providing EHR solutions and it wouldn’t surprise me if Nintendo didn’t already have a network in place and providing vital information to health networks and providers.

Click here to see more information on the Wii Fit Plus

Click here to see more information from E3 2009

[Image Via Gizmodo, ]

Your Shape: Ubisoft Fitness Game via Motion Sensing Camera (Wii)


Not to be outdone by the MS Empire, Ubisoft announced their new motion sensing camera for the Wii called "Your Shape". 

Through use of the camera in conjunction with Your Shape, players' shapes will be recorded and a profile will be created specific to that player.

During workouts the game will give players real time, on-screen and vocal feedback in order to get the perfect workout. Players will also be able to choose any part of their body they would like to work out and then choose the type of regimen they need to work on toning, weight-loss, and other goals.

Your Shape, along with the motion sensing camera, will be available this fall for Wii.

Screenshots via Ubisoft

Monday, June 1, 2009

Project Natal: Controller-free Gaming Xbox 360 = Universal Design

Project_Natal_E3 (1)

Ricochet was the first sport/fitness game featured on the newly revealed E3 demo of Project Natal. Using full motion sensors that detect not only direction but force (similar to EyeToy Kinetic) the player is free to move all about using whatever body-part necessary to score as many points. Looks great because it will integrate with Xbox Live and allow you to watch movies without a remote and according to one game studio’s trial, there will be gesture, emotion, and voice recognition and some pretty powerful interactions with AI. Enter the Matrix, Holodeck, Minority Report….you name it. Movemement controlled interaction with no input device = priceless (not to mention battery-less).

image_04 2009.06.01 15.04


Shake, Crank, or Squeeze to Play

In yet another example of using human power to play games, these 9 new environmentally-friendly toys from UK-based International Playthings
show how "the More You Play, The Less You Pay". Their new line Ecotronic has a Boombox, Duck, Microphone, Rocket, Phone, radios, flashlights, and a robot.

[Via Crave]

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