Emergent gameplay is being coupled in this day and age with intuitive control schemes. We're seeing games that push the boundaries of interactivity while we're also seeing hardware manufacturers and independent engineers aim to accomplish the same thing, examples include the Omni-Treadmill and Oculus Rift.
In addition to the already popular Omni and Rift, there's a new player on the block that focuses on 3D motion depth control and movement called the iMotion 3D controller. It's a neat device that could prove to open up a doorway to some interesting gaming possibilities.
Alex Khromenkov, CEO/CTO of Intellect Motion commented about their new 3D motion control device, saying...
“We’ve created a project that will deliver a unique interface device that is both affordable and responsive, while featuring very low latency for a high performance experience that outpaces even the most advanced motion control devices available today for the average consumer,”... “With haptic feedback provided to the user’s palm, interaction within 3D spaces, virtual environments, and even web browsing takes on a new dimension. We know people are going to enjoy the immersiveness of the experience that iMotion provides.”
In addition to working like a poor man's Wii-mote, the iMotion controller also supports 4-channel haptic feedback and a functional range of up to 16 feet.
My only concern with the device is that despite the fact that the device supposedly runs low latency at 10 to 20 millisecond delays, 20 milliseconds is long enough for some gamers to feel the difference. For fast-paced competitive first-person shooter titles and simulation racing games that require 1:1 response timing, I don't think this iMotion will cut it. But hey, that's just my observation.
Anyway, the device is aimed to work with any webcam and can easily be picked up thanks to its easy-to-read LEDs.
On the upside, I can see this being a useful device to work in conjunction with the Oculus Rift or maybe work as a great companion device with the Omni-Treadmill, handling things like duck, jump and activate or melee attacks while standard movement is handled by the treadmill and the Oculus Rift handles looking around. Dang, that would be one kick-butt combination of gaming gear.
I don't know how the iMotion will really work out if it really fills a void that isn't already capable of being filled by a blue tooth dongle and a Wii-mote, but if gamers, modders and designers can come up with a way to use the iMotion haptic controller for games in ways that isn't already available (such as for fighting games or using motion-based spell casting in MMOs and RPGs) then all the more power to them.
If you like what Intelligent Motion is selling with the iMotion, feel free to support the project by paying a visit to the official Kickstarter page.