First Eye-Controlled Arcade Game Appears in London
British gamers are currently blowing up asteroids with laser beams by looking at them. No big whoop.
Say what you will about non-standard control schemes--"Gimmicks!" "Pointless!" "The ruin of gaming as we know it!"--but take a breath and consider the following: There is currently an arcade game in which the player blasts apart dangerous space rocks with laser weapons by doing nothing more than moving his or her eyeballs. The game in question is EyeAsteroids, a new arcade game by Tobii Technologies, and one of the fifty cabinets in existence is currently available for play at Trocadero in London until February 17th.
The game itself is fairly simple; asteroids are threatening to make life very unpleasant on Earth, and it's up to you to stop the stony precipitation from flattening the planet into a hole-riddled space pancake. Players assume the role of whom I can only assume is some sort of Zero-G space Cyclops who rains down beams of electromagnetic radiation upon the debris through mighty pupil projectiles.
So how does it work? Well, it couldn't be simpler, my good man! Basically, the machine calibrates to the user's eyes by examining two to nine points of unique characteristics. Then, infrared illuminators project onto his or her cornea, creating an invisible reflection pattern. These illuminators are placed close to the optical axis of the imagining sensor that makes the user's pupil appear to elucidate. The machine can then trace the eyes as they sweep across the active area of the cabinet's screen, essentially turning the user's face into a double-barreled NES light gun. And in case I didn't make the outcome perfectly clear before, users can then blow up space rocks by looking at them.
If you're anywhere near London, this might be worth a quick daytrip to try out. If not, Tobii Technologies has made fifty EyeAsteroid cabinets and will be selling them for a mere $15,000 a pop, so break out your wallet. I suppose a third option would be to simply wait for a mainstream gaming peripheral like the Kinect to license or duplicate the technology. Even Tobii Technologies seems to be hinting at the idea, outlining some possible uses for their technique on its website:
•Control your character with a joystick, but aim with your eyes
•Aim with a wireless controller and turn around by looking to the side of the display
•Establish genuine eye contact with characters in a game
•Look a bot straight in the eyes and give a command using your keyboard or voice
•Create an emotional intensity that makes characters act as real humans responding to your gaze
•Adapt the game action to your attention and mental state.
Technology like this is a great way to innovate videogames. Unlike something as substantial to the process as a controller, it seems like Tobii Technologies' eye control could easily be integrated on a variety of levels. And come on, who didn't read the above list and keep thinking "L.A. Noire 2?"
Now all they need to do is implement this technology in the classic arcade shooters. I want to be space Cyclops in T2: Judgement Day and Time Crisis!
Oh poop, first double post in months! Damn you site traffic!
Shouldn't they have called it "EYEsteroids"?
Looks like these people went into their product specs with the same mindset as Atari did with the original Pong, which was specifically designed so that you could play it, whilst having one hand free for holding a beer. :P
well what da ya know ....
looks really can kill....
See, this is advancement in control methods. The Wii, Kinect and PS Move all make control slower. This makes it faster.
This is a technology that helps, though it'd make FPS pretty damn easy. They'd have to make the guns less accurate in game or viciously ramp up the number of enemies to maintain challenge.
Interesting concept for a game, it's certainly is eye catching (lame I know).
Shouldn't they have called it "EYEsteroids"?
My thoughts exactly. Plus, that would have left them wide open for a sequel which is already possible with current Kinect technology: ASSteroids.
Eye-tracking tech has many interesting applications. A pretty intriguing one that comes to mind is some "adaptive detail rendering" technique. A game could render the area that you're directly looking at at high resolution and detail, while keeping the rest at levels adequate for peripheral vision. As people get larger and larger computer screens, this could save a lot of processing power and lead to high FPS rates.
Kinect technology: ASSteroids.
Better than my original name, "Flail like an idiot-steroids"
Wait until they start deploying this for advertising purposes. Imagine you're in the quiet part of a mall, when on the wall an ad pops up. You look elsewhere, but it follows your gaze. The only option is to look at the floor or close your eyes to avoid it. Or you look at an ad for something and thanks to a lingering glance at a sexy model, it changes over to an ad with similar models dressed even sexier, and suddenly you realize that some big demographic pile about you just got "likes Latinas" added to it.
Hey, stop making games with this.. replace my mouse already and take my money!
Awesome. Now you just have to start tweaking the interface and eventually we can create Peripheral vision and incorporate it. FPS my finally start to get more immersive.