Dec 23, 2013

The Next Level of 3-D Motion Tracking Has Arrived

MIT has done it again. It's developed WiTrack, the newest generation of motion tracking. This technology uses a wireless network and radio waves to track a person's movement in a room. It can even see through walls, making its applications endless.

Check out the video. It's pretty amazing.

Dec 19, 2013

The Nose Knows

Think of it...a game that rewards you not only with points, but also with the smell of buttered popcorn! The company Pop Secret commissioned the creation of an iOS game called Poptopia that can be accompanied by a Pop Dongle, a device which emits the smell of buttered popcorn during game play. Apparently the smell becomes more intense the better the game is played.

Are we finally one step closer to smell-o-vision? You decide.

What do you call a group of Pop Dongles? A herd, a gaggle, a flock?

Jul 3, 2013

The "Wright" Way to Gamify Your Life

In a recent interview, Will Wright, creator of Electronic Arts' SimCity and The Sims, explored the idea of constructing a game that connects people to the gameplay of their lives, rather than to fictitious or virtual worlds. Wright explains that he is "extremely interested in making games where reality is the playing field."

What do you think? Do people play games to escape their own reality? Or will they embrace the idea of creating a game world based on their own lives? 

Jun 28, 2013

Goodbye Gamification, Hello Gumification!

Forget remote controls and arrow keys. They are so last century. This new iOS game called Gumulon is controlled by mastication. Yup...chewing. Using the front facing camera, players chew to control the game's characters as they swing and jump through dangerous mazes. Developed for makers of the Stride gum, this game gives players a truly original way to play.

Interested in learning more? Read on.

Mar 1, 2013

Chok! Chok! Chok!

Leave it to master marketer Coca-Cola to create the first ever interactive television/mobile promotion that successfully uses game mechanics to reach its audience. Mobile users were instructed to download an app to their phones. Then at an appointed time, a Coca-Cola commercial aired on television, prompting people to race for their device to "chok," or frantically shake it, for a chance to win instant prizes. The app was downloaded 380,000 times in the first month alone and nine million people saw the ad, proving yet again that games can be a fun and powerful motivator.

Read more about this amazing marketing campaign.

Jan 14, 2013

Paper Tab

Tablets will get thinner and cheaper... until this happens:

It's a big question -- how cheap will they get? Can you imagine having a stack of fifty battery powered sheets of paper? It will probably happen, probably by 2030, if I had to guess.

Jan 13, 2013

Microsoft Illumiroom

Ray Bradbury presents: The Xbox 451!

In the long term, consoles will find it more and more necessary to be deeply immersive, and this system does that by involving your peripheral vision, which is important because peripheral vision is what the brain uses to give you a feeling of motion. Described in some detail by Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, this has been used in the CAVE attractions at DisneyQuest to great effect -- and at last it may be coming to the home. Choosing to burn all your books is optional -- for now.

Jan 11, 2013

"My Brain is Busy...Call Back Later"

Developed in a mere 26 hours at a hackathon sponsored by AT&T, the app Good Times takes call management to a whole new level. By tapping into brain waves, the app can determine whether or not it is a good time for the user to make or take a phone call. If the user is concentrating or agitated, the app can detect the increased brain activity, and in turn, provide the caller with a message to try again later. When the user is relaxed, the system lets the call through. Read more about it here.

The app's creator sees many applications for this technology beyond call screening. He suggests it could be used to change the music on your player based on your mood. Or it could automatically switch the television channel if you were bored.

What other applications can you see for this technology?

Jan 9, 2013

Put a Fork in It!

The new year has arrived, and many have turned their thoughts to fulfilling new year's resolutions. For some, losing weight is top of the list. A French company HAPIlabs has developed a new technology to aid in this pursuit.

Called the HAPIfork, this electronic fork monitors your eating habits. The company contends that weight gain can be caused by eating too fast. This "smart fork" alerts you when you are eating too quickly. It also measures every meal and tracks it via an app on your phone. The Verge saw this fork at CES 2013 and reports on it here.

A special thanks to Scott Landsman for pointing out this new gadget!

Jan 4, 2013

Gamification Goes Mainstream

More and more companies are using the principles of game design to entice people to use their products and services. This New York Times article highlights the different ways gamification is seeping into our every day lives. Even the article itself is a game. Earn a badge for scrolling to the end. Score additional points for finding the quote from me.

Jan 2, 2013

Kiip: Gaming Customer Rewards

Kiip is a mobile rewards company that allows advertisers to give awards to their customers while they are interfacing with games or apps. The Kiip system shows banner ads at a moment of achievement within an app. Users who click on the ad can claim a reward, like a $5 shopping card from a retailer. (See the above picture for an example.) Currently Kiip is in the process of expanding its model beyond mobile to any web platform.

BTW, according to its web site, the company name is pronounced "keep," not "kip."

Learn more about Kiip in this article from VentureBeat.