Friday, April 23, 2010

Bayer Launches Diabetes Management Game for Nintendo DS

DIDGET is a fully functional blood glucose monitor, and does not require a Nintendo DS to operate. The device reads and records blood sugar concentration levels determined by Bayer's prescription CONTOUR test strips. When connected to the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot on Nintendo DS and DS Lite systems DIDGET converts blood glucose test results into reward points.

[Via Serious Games Source Bayer Launches Diabetes Management Game for Nintendo DS"]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wii Clap by Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser & George Lopez team up to bring you Brendan Fraser's Wii Clap game. Soon you too can master the Rock or Golf clap to amazing success and world wide domination. 

Who, When and How? A Closer Look at Video Game Measurement | Nielsen Wire

Who, When and How? A Closer Look at Video Game Measurement | Nielsen Wire

April 21, 2010
Research from Nielsen Games shows there is a “prime time” for video game play in the U.S., just like television, with the peak time for play between 7-11pm. But should an hour of video game play be thought of by advertisers the same way as an hour-long prime time TV drama?
As a way to help get better answers for media companies and advertisers, and to begin to establish a standard metric for game play that can be compared to other media measurement, The Nielsen Company teamed up with Microsoft and conducted a pilot study that took a closer look at the video game-playing audience. Initial findings from the study were presented at this week’s Ad:Tech conference.
To get a clearer picture of who’s playing what, when, and for how long, watermarks were placed in Season 2 of the Xbox LIVE game “1 vs 100.” Using the same Nielsen panel used to measure TV, we were able to draw comparisons between a video game audience and a TV audience. For example, while Nielsen’s Video Game Play metrics can provide a snapshot of who’s playing a specific console, the addition of the watermark provided the ability to get specific audience data on a title-level.
The consumption of Xbox 360 console usage minutes by 18-34 year olds is generally 45 percent. When looking at the gamer profile for Xbox LIVE’s “1 vs 100” game show, 18-34 year olds made up 55 percent of the player set. These specific metrics help to provide the type of insights advertisers and media planners need to compare video game platforms to other types of media.
Nielsen data for the Xbox 360 shows that month-to-month, between 20-25 percent of Xbox 360 consoles are active during prime time hours in Nielsen homes. With the Xbox 360 being a multimedia device capable of not only playing games, but also movies, TV content, music, and social media interaction via Facebook and Twitter, the need to measure all of its capabilities has been a popular client request.
Time Spent Playing
The Nielsen and Microsoft joint study evaluated 13 weeks of programming from November 2009 through February 2010. The Xbox LIVE game show “1 vs 100” was available for play in two forms, “1 vs 100 Live” in which a live host, Chris Cashman, provided commentary and real prizes were awarded, as well as “1 vs 100 Extended Play,” where players could practice in more condensed, theme-based versions of the show.
Based on panel and meter date, the average length of play for “1 vs 100” (both Live and Extended Play sessions combined) is more than 70 minutes. More impressively, , the average length of play during “1 vs 100 Live” is87 minutes. Both types of play offer advertising integration during the “game breaks” after each set of 10 questions.
“Advertisers should be very interested to see the amount of time consumers spend interacting with these games – especially during those appointment-based ‘1 vs 100 Live’ sessions,” said Gerardo Guzman, Nielsen Games. “What makes this pilot study so important is the potential for precise audience segmenting. As more game companies and advertisers participate in studies like these, we’re able to define and refine an efficient set of metrics for gaming that can be compared against other media.”
“Our independent research shows that gamers are very engaged while playing, especially during Live Play,” said Carolyn Fuson, Sr. Audience and Analysis Manager, Xbox LIVE Advertising. “In one specific case, an advertiser who placed ads within the games saw notable brand recall and lift. Our ability to learn more about the audience can only be a positive to those brands looking to make an impact on the growing gaming community.”

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raisin Health Monitor Sends Heart Rate Details To Your iPhone [IPhone Apps]

Raisin Health Monitor Sends Heart Rate Details To Your iPhone [IPhone Apps]: "

What looks like a bulky female hygiene product is actually a health monitor that hooks up to an iPhone via Bluetooth, sending bodily information such as heart rates to the compatible app. More »

It's not on sale yet, with Proteus' Raisin sensor only just being passed through the FDA, but it's another step for the iPhone into the operating room, after Apple showed off the Lifescan app by Johnson & Johnson at last year's WWDC, which works alongside a wireless glucose meter. Diabetes can analyze the glucose levels in their blood, with the information being sent to the iPhone app over Bluetooth.
Raisin would also work over Bluetooth, sending information on physical activity and pulse and so on, with the app giving the user more details about what's going on in their body—and also storing information for charting history. It won't replace your annual check-up at the doctors, but could be a neat tool for athletes or those who really want to know what's going on internally. [Proteus via SlashGear]

Send an email to Kat Hannaford, the author of this post, at

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Active Cows = Healthier Cows + Healthier Earth

Now if cows are getting healthier and at the same time reducing energy demands, why not hook up the treadmills in our schools and gyms to produce energy as well? Sort of reminds me of the Pedal-powered OLPCShake, Crank, or Squeeze to PlayPower Pump to Toned Legs and Air Time, and the Sustainable Dance Floor. Check out more eco-friendly projects by clicking here.

At one farm in Northern Ireland, cows are giving up green grass in favor of green power. In order to decrease his reliance on fossil fuels for electricity, farmer William Taylor created the Livestock Power Mill, a treadmill that generates power as cows walk on it. It may seem like a kooky idea, but Taylor could really be onto something: According to his calculations, if the world’s 1.3 billion cattle used treadmills for eight hours a day, they could produce six percent of the world’s power. Cows are locked into a pen on top of a non-powered, inclined belt. To avoid sliding down the incline, the cow needs to walk, which turns the belt. As the belt turns, it spins a gearbox, which powers a generator. A feed box hooked to the front of the device keeps cows occupied and happy. One cow can produce about two kilowatts of electricity, enough energy to power four milking machines.

It may seem cruel to make cows sweat it out on a treadmill, but the routine is actually quite similar to the animals’ normal behavior. Cows walk about eight hours a day while grazing. Doing that walking on a treadmill provides the same amount of exercise with the added bonus of renewable power production.

For now, the Livestock Power Mill is just a prototype on Taylor’s farm. But if the idea catches on, we could see farms all over the world employing the useful device. Taylor estimates that a small farm could earn back a 50-cow system’s $100,000 price tag in a mere three years.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Virtusphere Brings 3D Whole-Body Immersion Gaming (GDC 2010)

Virtusphere from Binghamton, New York was demoing at GDC 2010 in San Francisco back in March and the line to try it out was busy both days I was able to get on the exhibition floor.  I will be visiting their Binghamton office soon so I will have more to report over the summer. WIBC - I wonder if the movements are faster than a walking speed like running or more erratic movements like jumping, if the Virtusphere is still as effective. I wonder if the Virtusphere can be used along with a Wii, PS3, or Xbox360? Is it possible to use the newest wireless controllers that rely on magnetic fields (Sixense) or magnetometers (PS3 Move/Navigation Controller & Gametrak Freedom)?

How it works: Virtusphere consists of a 10-foot hollow sphere, which is placed on a special platform that allows the sphere to rotate freely in any direction according to the user’s steps. Wearing a wireless, head-mounted display the user is able to walk and run being immersed into virtual environment. The movement by the user is replicated within the virtual environment. The same hardware set can be used for different applications by changing only the software applications.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Health Games Research Database goes live

The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation sponsored Health Games Research Database has finally gone live and now lists  "information in the health games field related to games, publications, resources, organizations, and more.  Hundreds of health games are included."

Nike Music Shoes: Music to My Body & Soul!

Great Balls of Fire! This group of Japanese artists have taken musical expression and creation to a level that I can relate to, especially because it involves movement (Exergame Potential).  Much like the massive MIDI controller featured earlierDaito Manabe, Tomoaki Yanagisawa W+K Tokyo and others (4nchor5,rhizomatiks) took the Nike Free Run+ shoes and added flexible Arduino micro-controllers (which change the resistance when bent) to the shoes which triggered sounds hooked to a DJ mixer and controlled by sound effects processor  Max/MSP and Ableton Max for Live. Jump to the Rhythm, Jump, Jump! [Via CreativeApplications.Net and Engadget]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Multitoe or MultiToeTapping ExerGame (Concept)

Does having a Virtual Hot Spot on the bottom of your shoe sound enticing enough for you to do some computer interaction like typing, playing a FPS using your feet and tilting your head...well the Multitoe concept from from the HCI lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany might be the place to find the next great exergame. (Via Engagdet)

We propose direct touch surfaces that are orders of magnitude larger than tabletops by integrating high-resolution multi-touch sensing into back-projected floors.

The key factor of the shown design is that it is based on frustrated total internal reflection sensing. FTIR allows it to identify and track users based on their sole patterns. The floor recognizes foot postures, distinguishes users who interact from people walking by, and enables high-precision interaction. In addition, the floor can approximate users' head positions based on the pressure profile in the soles and it extracts enough details from soles to allow users to play first person shooters by balancing their feet.

The shown work is a research project by Caroline Fetzer, Thomas Augsten, Konstantin Kaefer, Dorian Kanitz, Rene Meusel, and Thomas Stoff in the Human Computer Interaction Lab of Prof. Patrick Baudisch at Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Virtual Air Guitar For Health

Virtual Air Guitar or Kung-Fu Live your way to better health using Virtual Air Guitar Company's new "real-time" sensing webcams.  I have no idea about latency but it will supposedly remove the background around you and insert you into the game (current platforms Xbox 360, PS3 and PC) but if this works and truly gets you in the game like Kick Ass Kung Fu - I am in!

Our proprietary FreeMotion® technology (patents pending) is a computer vision library that allows accurate real-time tracking of the entire human body as well as background removal using regular webcams.

FreeMotion® Technology
Our proprietary FreeMotion® technology (patents pending) is a computer vision library that allows accurate real-time tracking of the entire human body as well as background removal using regular webcams.
FreeMotion® technology allows development of camera games for multiple platforms, even if the underlying camera technologies differ, such as one platform using a regular RGB camera and another using a 3D depth camera.
How it works

This is the original image from a PlayStation®Eye Camera or a similar webcam.

FreeMotion® Skeleton Tracking accurately tracks the player's poses and movements. This includes data for all body parts such as hands, feet and the head. In this imge, the tracker recognizes the player's punch movement.

The player's image is extracted from the background and transferred into a game world. The background removal works in home conditions and does not require a greenscreen or any special background material. It can even remove people from the image who aren't supposed to be there! With FreeMotion® Technology, you can literally step into the game world and interact naturally with it. You'll feel empowered with magnified and expanded abilities.
Tech Validation & Perspectives
Our technology and patents have withstood the scrutiny of several due diligences. They have always been found to be the best existing real-time human tracking and background removal technologies on a regular RGB webcam. FreeMotion® has been integrated with several game engines, such as Emergent® Gamebryo®.
Processes & Tools
Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
We swear in the name of agile development, extensive prototyping early on and efficient and broad testing.
We take great pride in good processes and writing high-quality code.
We utilize Scrum with two to three-week sprints.
Gamebryo® Lightspeed™, Scaleform GFx™, Autodesk® 3ds Max®, FMOD, Subversion, IncrediBuild, SN-DBS
In-house tools: FreeMotion® technology, an efficient Adobe Flash-based rapid prototyping system for camera games, a robust automatic testing framework built on top of CruiseControl.NET, automatic testing using NUnit, CPPUnit and PC-lint static code analysis.
In our development pipeline, all modules are compiled and integrated multiple times a day thanks to continuous integration. Every build is subjected to automated error, quality and performance tests. Issues are highlighted and developers receive feedback within minutes of committing code.

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