The traditional PlayMotion era in gaming is over. With the introduction of haptic applications of in gaming, PlayMotion does not constitute the ultimate gaming experience any more. PlayMotion makes it possible for gamers to experience the gaming environment in enhanced ways.
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It translates their actions into shapes and patterns by applying gesture recognition technology and a graphics engine to process the resultant environment for on screen display.
A video projector displays images on a screen. In itself, play-motion is a unique concept to gaming, and provides gamers with the ability to create their environment. Playmotion (2008) stated, “Through colorful, positive, real-time, high performance visualizations, the invisible is made manifest, and imagination is made real”.
The one thing PlayMotion does not achieve is providing tactile perception to gamers. The sense of touch is fundamental to the human sensory experience. Without it, the experience remains incomplete no matter how graphically advanced. Haptic technology is finding application in all sorts of places, from flight simulation to military training.
In the medical field, the technology finds application in the training of surgeons, who get a virtual feel of a surgical process before they ever lay a scalpel on a patient. Phone manufacturers such as Nokia are applying haptic technology to handset design to enhance the user experience.
As Robles-De-La-Torre (2008) states, “Haptic perception in virtual environments (VEs) relies on sensory signals arising from computer controlled mechanical signals produced by haptic interfaces”. Nintendo 64’s Rumble Pak implemented an application of haptic technology. What haptic technology promises gamers tactile is feedback on their gaming experience and a multisensory involvement in the gaming environment.
When these two advantages combine with the possibilities available today from computer graphics, there is a tremendous improvement in human-computer interaction. Newer concepts such as haptic touch screens are already in the market. Using haptic technology, a gamer will ‘feel’ his actions.
By using controls that provide haptic stimuli, a gamer can realistically feel elements such as the texture of a road, the shooting from a gun, flying in bad weather among others.
This connects the gamer better with the environment. The gamer will experience vibrations when they hit a bump or when they crash into something in the course of their gaming. Currently, Sony’s DualShock technology, and falcon, from Novint are some of the gaming options in the market that use haptic technology.
The enhancements proposed for the PlayMotion technology include inclusion of hepatic gloves and a hepatic headgear. These two enhancements will add a completely new dimension to the experience for PlayMotion Gamers by providing them with tactile feedback and input to the virtual environment created by PlayMotion.
The hepatic glove will also serve as a control unit for game elements. This is to say that it will have an input function and a feedback provision function. The game design will include the following elements
- Enhanced Playmotion features, including gesture recognition and video projection capabilities, using the latest available technologies because of the advanced computer graphics
- Hepatic gloves, with input and feedback functions since hands provide the best surface for sensory experience of hepatic stimuli
- An optional hepatic helmet, which will enable users to feel hits and to enhance the sense of motion
Robles-De-La-Torre, G. (2008). Principles of hepatic perception in virtual environments. In Grünwald, M. (Ed.) Human haptic perception: Basics and applications. Berlin: springer.
Playmotion, (2008). Playmotion is founded upon ideas of magic, transformation, and empowerment. Retrieved from: http://www.playmotion.com/