Technology is always advancing at break-neck speed, giving rise to incredible innovations that change the landscape of our day-to-day lives. One major industry that is laying down the path towards the future is gaming. Whether itâ€™s on the mobile, PC or console platform, no entertainment industry has evolved so rapidly as the world of gaming, and that evolution continues today.
Here are just some of the revolutionary gadgets that promise to truly change the game for players everywhere.
Leap Motion Controller
Imagine waving goodbye to your mouse and keyboard setup, and instead controlling every move of your game with your own two hands. Well, the Leap Motion Controller has made that a reality. This little USB device can make a big difference, not only letting users interact with their games on a previously unimagined level, but also allowing them to scroll web pages, zoom in and out on images and maps and sign documents simply by moving their hands. For only $70, you could bring smooth gameplay to your fingertips.
Itâ€™s one thing to control gaming with your hands, but using your eyes is a whole different story. Technology enthusiasts have been raving about eye tracking for some time now, but Eye Tribe got the ball rolling. The ground-breaking gadget is the smallest eye tracker device in the world, and is compatible with a range of computers and tablets. Using the deviceâ€™s front-facing camera and complex computer-vision algorithms, this $99 piece of kit lets you control apps, games and even flight simulators all with just the blink of an eye.
Project Tango Smartphone
Earlier this year, Google unveiled Project Tango. Capitalising on the rapidly expanding smartphone market, the tech giant revealed that they are currently developing a device that has real-time 3D mapping capabilities. Using a 4-megapixel camera, a motion tracking camera, integrated depth sending and two â€œcomputer Vision Processorsâ€™, the smartphone is able to process and visualise its environment and movement. This has serious implications for mobile gaming, bringing games into a real-world environment. Future players could scan their living rooms and interact with the space through apps, allowing children to play hide and seek with virtual characters or for players to host online poker home games in their own four walls.
Online gaming juggernaut Steam has defined the PC platform, with a vast library of quality titles and around 75 million active users. Parent company Valve are now looking to make the leap from computer to living room. Along with the open-source Linux operating system, SteamOS and their new Steam Controller, Valve have also launched a number of custom-built Steam Machine devices, which deliver high quality PC games onto the TV screen. Partnering with 14 different hardware manufacturers, Valve will release a number of machines, differing in size, specs and price. It could be the first step forward in shaping the future of home gaming.
Virtual reality may seem like a technology that belongs in sci-fi movies and the optimistic imaginings of young gamers, but Oculus VR have actually been pioneering it for some time now. The world seemed one step closer to the reality of virtual reality at CES 2014, when the Crystal Cove prototype was revealed. Advanced sensors for positional tracking reduced motion blur, and the crisp 1080p 3D wraparound visual display looked more incredible and immersive than ever. The device is expected to become commercially available either at the end of this year or early 2015, when we can finally step inside the worlds we love to play in.
Too bad Oculus Rift was purchased by Facebook. Now it’s going to be a data mining tool..
Looking forward to the Steam controller though! I hope it would function as well as a keyboard+mouse combo. As much as I love PC gaming, I don’t like sitting beside a desk for long periods to play shooters. Using a regular controller with analogue sticks would get me killed easily. Valve’s controller is my last hope: I dream of lounging on the couch while playing, without getting clobbered by the game.