Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
- I have used these watch bases before and although they are "wireless", the actual base is attached via USB. It would be great if there were an option for a Wireless USB stations like the FitBit, but the FA20 activity watch does not have that option.
- Considering so many kids also game on portable systems like DS, PSP, iPod Touch and on mobile phones and smartphones - the X10 would have no impact on how much time they are "able" to game.
- I love the fact that parents have a hand in helping their children become more accountable but I can't stop thinking about Jesse Schell's DICE 2010 lecture on being prisoners to external reward structures - although you could argue that we are already there with Google, GPS, airline rewards, credit card purchases, coupon clubs, etc..). Hmmmmm.. Let's see how PARS works up close and stay tuned for a thorough review.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
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 | SeriouslyE3 (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 www.forcetekusa.com/xio to become one of a select group given an opportunity to purchase the XIO Virtual Gaming System prior to full release.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Marcus Smith presented their research into the cardiovascular effects of rock drumming and the implications on in-game drumming (Rock Band, Rock Revolution). It was awesome to see the similarities in the effects - but its important to remember that these were two of the most skilled drummers in each of their respective drumming fortes.
Rock Drumming via Figgs from Extreme was playing to a track at a heart-rate of 190 beats per minute - which needless to say is in the vigorous physical activity intensity range - in fact for most un-trained adults we don't recommend those levels at all. In-game drumming expert by Harmonix lead designer John is arguably one of the most skilled drummers and he was pushing his heart rate to levels similar to that of Figgs - although from what I recall - not quite as high. I have to check the tape. Stay tuned to this blog for more on Rock Drumming. Rock on my Friends!
An interestingly similar product was spotted recently called Interactiv' Boxing created by Domyos Fitness.
Integrating a LED light system, the interactive punching kit when banged or kicked illuminates to increase playfulness, while the 10 training programs lets the user change exercises and games with minimum fuss.
[Via Design Blog]
IR) lasers have a 70 meter range while the pc base needs to stay within a range of 300 meters in order to keep track of the game using the UbiConnect antennae. You can pick up health, ammunition, or objective packs to keep your game going and they are scanned using the RFID sensors placed in both the gun and packs. This is somewhat reminiscent of Hyper Dash, Hyper Jump, Animal Scramble from Wild Entertainment and an FRID toy called Swinxs that is finally available in the US. It would be neat to test all three systems to compare what kids like about each system. If you know someone that can get us a test kit - please get in touch with me at email@example.com.
Other features include:
- UbiConnect Game Master program & antennae
- Up to 8 players can play together (4 v 4)
- User-generated data shared with Battle Tag community
- Laser sensing vests
- Voice prompting from Game Master transmitted via the laser gun's speakers
- Physical activity (primarily cardiovascular) away from a console.
- If most of the movements are near maximal and in short bursts, it could be one of the elusive exergames that elicit the vigorous intensity level that has shown to have excellent health benefits.
- Choice of many types of games and challenges.
- Social interaction with peers while playing and after receiving results.
- Strategies (individual and group) and group dynamics.
- Problem-solving during game-play.
- If we really want the kids to get outdoors, they probably should focus on making this game/ type of exergame a mobile-based system (think Jogging at Distance) or one that can leave the range of UbiConnect and continue to be able play. Similar to some wireless real-time heart-rate monitors that leave the base range and continue to collect data - then when you get back in range, the data is streamed to the base.
- Tethered to the UbiConnect base (300m).
- "Shooting" / using humans as targets.
- Batteries and charging system.
- Any haptic feedback in vest or gun?
- GPS / mobile systems in development?
- Customizable games and features?
- Language packs?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Dropping sometime during Holiday 2010, Zumba Fitness hopes to bring the hottest dance and fitness craze to your shiny new Xbox 360 Kinect. The trailer doesn't reveal that much about the game or game play and we're pretty sure they weren't using Kinect for the in-game video footage. Let's see if they can capitalize on a huge Zumba fan base and turn in some better sales numbers than Your Shape.
Thanks Sandra for the tip!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Way to go and prove me right Teemu & crew! I 've added some screenshots of their latest trailer and some of trailer videos on YouTube so that you can see how awesome this release for Playstation 3 using Playstation Eye and on the Playstation Network will be this fall. I'm hoping to talk to a rep about their product and company in the near future so stay tuned. Enjoy the footage until then and shoot me some questions you would like me to ask them and take the following poll about which exergames you are excited to play.
Using Virtual Air Guitar Company’s patented Freemotion® technology combined with the PlayStation®Eye, Kung-Fu LIVE allows players to immerse themselves in fist-to-face combat with accurate motion and image scanning happening live and in real-time, right from their living rooms. Armed with a host of super-human moves in multiple interactive environments, disciplined players can brawl their way to victory in a pulse-pounding fight to the finish.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
At E3 last night, Ubisoft revealed their Your Shape game ported over to Xbox 360 and Kinect (formerly Project Natal) now called Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. It;s a good thing too since the first version had real concerns with the game play, sales (0.59 worldwide million) and the use of Jenny McCarthy as a spokesperson. Watching the press conference and demos from LA got me excited for the next level of exergaming; however, I also have some real concerns with this implementation.
- "Gets You in the Game" is a statement we've been using for a long time and it's good to see it throughout the press releases.
- A surprisingly strong Facebook community of 36,000 + seems like it has a good start on the maximizing the group's ability to support one another.
- Great visual effects and interaction and player tracking.
- Lots of great feedback (formative, summative, instant).
- Hundreds of exercises and supposedly never giving you the same workout.
- As I have found in my research and that of others, perceived exertion is proving to be a tricky metric as people are under-reporting their levels of perceived exertion. This can lead to exhaustion and/or repeated overuse injuries.
- Although Your Shape: Fitness Evolved has evolved from the Wii version, I still don't like the computer generated "image" when compared to the your actual video like on EyeToy Kinetic (my gold standard for fitness video game).
- If it never gives you the same workout twice, what happens if you really connect with a particular workout and want to repeat it? Is there the option to put it back into rotation?
- With all the feedback coming from the program, will the user be able to customize the amount, delivery rate and or type (audio, visual)?
- Will players with movement disabilities be able to use the this system after calibrating for range of motion?
- Will we be able to move the camera closer so those with limited ROM can still "Be in the game"?
- Will the online support community run into similar litigation issues as EA SPORTS Active (featured earlier)
- Did the designers consult with exercise physiologists, strength training professionals, and personal trainers?
- Did they build in features that emphasize: the different elements of training cycles (micro, macro, meso), energy systems (aerobic, anaerobic, lactic, alactic), tapering an cycling, nutritional demands coordinating with each specific cycle and system?
- As is the case with many of the fitness "games", there does not appear to be any real game element in terms of story, plot, or narrative. In essence these titles should be "efitness instruction" or "efitness guides".
- The demo got me a little confused as it was the mirror image of what we were watching on stage.
Be sure to get an unbiased perspective and plenty of information of exergames on The Exergame Network.
PLAYER PROJECTION TECHNOLOGY PUTS YOU INSIDE THE GAME:Ubisoft’s proprietary Player Projection technology puts you in the game.
EXPERIENCE CAPTIVATING VISUAL EFFECTS:As you master fitness moves, the game responds with fun and surprising visuals that match your movement and impact.
CREATE YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED PROGRAM:You choose how you want to play – do you want a personal trainer to help you meet your specific fitness goals? Or do you want to take a class such...
UNPRECEDENTED FEEDBACK SYSTEM:Your Shape Fitness Evolved will give you precise feedback on your every body part as you follow your coach’s instructions.
CUTTING-EDGE WORKOUTS FROM FITNESS EXPERTS:Your Shape Fitness Evolved features workouts from well-known fitness experts.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS AND SHARE IT WITH THE COMMUNITY:The game keeps track of your stats, such as calories and scores.
NEVER DO THE SAME WORKOUT TWICE:The game comes with hundreds of exercises plus there will be regular downloadable content releases to ensure you’ll always have new and exciting workout...
Monday, June 14, 2010
If 600 dance moves across 90 dance routines is not enough - remember that these songs can also be played in groups so I imagine synchronization will be big part of the scoring mechanism. Even though all these new devices will calibrate at the start of a session - I still worry about 1:1 motion recognition as it relates to people with movement issues and disabilities. Will we be able to bring the camera lowere and closer like we've done for so many of our students like we do for EyeToy and XaviX? Time and trials will tell. Otherwise, if you know where we can get an advanced kit prior to the November release - please get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org to hook me up!
Gamers who love music and dance have an exciting holiday season release to look forward to. Playable without having to hold any kind of controller through the use of Microsoft Kinect, Dance Central tracks the full body movements of players as they follow on-screen instructions.