Saturday, June 19, 2010

ForceTek XIO: Force-Feedback Game Controller Exoskeleton

ForceTek XIO: the gaming controller that hurts you, not the TV (video): "

Forget the Wiimote, PlayStation Move and Kinect; here's a controller that actually makes you feel like you're in the game. At E3 earlier this week, startup firm ForceTek showed off its XIO (pronounced zee-o) Virtual Gaming System. The force-feedback arm exoskeleton 'provides a controlled resistance' to your arm and wrist movement. ForceTek eventually wants to build full exoskeletons (shoulder, back, lower body) to play games.

 Built to be a multiplatform game controller with tiny servo motors, one of their main claims is that it "helps reinforce the correct muscle pattern for the activity being simulated.". This is an important concept to remember in any motor skill, that being a correctly repeated movement helps to promote.  To be precise, there really is no such thing as "muscle-memory" as the muscle itself does not "remember" contractions/patterns; rather, the motor unit of the CNS "learns" sensorimotor skills. May the Force Be With You!

[Via Engadget DVICE | sourceSeriouslyE3 (YouTube), Awesome Game Blog]

Over 10 years in development and several patents, XIO™ (pronounced ZEE-O) is scheduled to be debuted at the 2010 E3 show June 15th-17th in Los Angeles, California. The XIO™ Virtual Gaming System could dramatically shake up the video console industry, a landscape dominated by Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, with the introduction of a system that requires no console and puts the player closer to reality than ever before.
XIO™ uses advanced exoskeleton technology used in the sports training and physical rehabilitation fields to provide the player with different responses based on the player’s body position, speed of movement, and other sensed data. In addition to audio and visual responses, XIO™ provides a controlled resistance to movement and other stimuli to provide realism to the action. This not only lets players feel as if they are actually performing the function, but also helps reinforce the correct muscle pattern for the activity being simulated. 
XIO™ devices now available for one or both arms are expected to be subsequently combined with shoulder, back and lower body attachments to add to the virtual experience. The use of an optional onboard computer and XIO™ headgear will allow the system to become totally self-contained on the user for inside or outside multiple player use. 
Although XIO™ is being demonstrated at E3 using certain existing video game software, to take advantage of all of the capabilities of XIO™, the system is expected to be released to the public with video games specifically developed for XIO™. Consumers can now go online at to become one of a select group given an opportunity to purchase the XIO Virtual Gaming System prior to full release.

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