Sunday, March 04, 2012

SoftKinectic adds motion control to Angry Birds


Angry Birds has offered quite possibly the most addictive (and humane) fun one can have throwing kamikaze fowl at pigs. Who knew, right? It’s available in browsers and on numerous mobile devices, which means you can already control it via keyboard and mouse, touchscreen, or keypade. However, a new device also adds the ability to motion control the game

SoftKinectic is bringing the dream to us–or at least a demo of it–with a device that allows you to play not only Angry Birds, but any game with gestures.

The video shows a developer utilizing small hand gestures, rather than the grandiose full body movements normally required when playing an interactive title. But these controls look incredibly intuitive: simply pinch, move, and release.

The system used to bring these kinds of controls to games is SoftKinetic’s iisu gesture recognition middleware, running on the DepthSense DS311 camera; a device not unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect. SoftKinectic originally showed off its 3D gesture technology during the Consumer Electronics Show, however, it seems the company is trying to gain some ground by applying the DepthSense to something a wider audience will be able to appreciate.

For developers looking to dabble in gesture-based games and applications, the iisu (an acronym for “Interface Is You”) software has a “freemium” version available, and apparently supports all major 3D depth-sensing cameras, including Microsoft’s Kinect. The development kit offers Unity 3D and Flash support.

It will be interesting to see what kind of gestures developers will use for Angry Birds when it does eventually arrive on PlayStation Move, Xbox Kinect, or Nintendo Wii.