It’s all in Mr. Magic’s Wand

Sony's magic wand patent

Via Jim Rossignol’s Esoteric Beat (Reg. Reqd) comes this news of a patent registered by Sony for what sounds like an extension to Eyetoy.

“Sony’s new idea is to plug a webcam into the console, and give the gamer a handheld wand similar to a pocket flashlight. The wand has a battery, a few mouse-like buttons and several different coloured LEDs that can be switched on and off in various combinations.

By pressing the buttons and waving the wand towards the webcam, the gamer can click to shoot aliens, drag-and-drop images on screen and navigate menus.”

Moreover – the affordances of a wand give a whole pallette of gestural interface for games developers to work with – adding ‘compositional’ control to rhythm – and possibly a whole other level of emotion to interface.

Sounds perfect for god games or RTS games, and even action games with elements of ‘compositional commands like Okami or even Darwinia if it ever made it to Playstation.

0 comments
  1. Jerry said:

    I think this wand idea is great. I hope they make a wand for teh Sony via would be cool to work with a wand instead of a mouse.

  2. Kim said:

    Rez.

    OMG. Imagine.

  3. A minor quibble with the illustration: if the wand is the main system of command, you won’t want to use it standing up as the man is in the picture. Instead, you’d be better off sitting, or leaning on something. EyeToy works standing up because you’re moving your whole body, more or less. Minimal movement on your feet will make you tired, even make you pass out (witness junior doctors on their first ward rounds). Most people played Time Crisis on the DC on the edge of their seats, rather than on them. This’ll probably be the same.

    (And I’d rather see a God game where I get to wipe people out with a swipe of my hand, rather than waving a wand)

  4. gavin said:

    Another patent application for old-tech…. This is exactly what “midi batons” have done for over a decade. I saw some R&D stuff 10 years ago that used “juggling balls” and a camera to manipulate music… fab stuff indeed and would love to see it more in the games world.

    There are lots of implementations, eg. http://www.buchla.com/lightning/index.html

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