Games in Science and Technology

Accelerometers Used to Research and Prevent Stillbirths

A Pregnant Belly and Baby KickingA research project led by Professor Paul Colditz, of the University of Queensland in Australia, is developing a new and more practical way of recording foetal movements in the womb. This technology aims to better understand and eventually reduce the number of stillbirths that occur every year.

The technology which is currently on trial with 200 pregnant patients of the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital uses accelerometers to help detect unborn children’s movements. Accelerometers are often found in video game controllers, such as Sony’s DualShock 3, Nintendo’s Wii Remote, Red Octane’s Guitar Hero controllers and Apple’s iPhone/iPod Touch. Read More...

Microsoft and Project Natal Seek to Broaden Access to Video Games

The Project Natal CameraBy now, most of you have probably heard about Microsoft and its plan to introduce innovative hands-free controls to the Xbox 360. With Project Natal, Microsoft aims to open up the world of video games to anyone who has ever felt daunted by a traditional controller.

First previewed during Microsoft’s E3 2009 press conference, Project Natal has already demonstrated great potential in recognizing body movements in a 3D space. It can even be programmed to react to facial expressions and voice intonations, as displayed with the ambitious Milo project in development at newly-appointed European creative director of Microsoft Game Studios Peter Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios. Read More...

Neurofeedback System Lets Kids with ADD Get Treated at Home

SmartBrain System for PS2Thanks to NASA-developed technology, kids living with ADD can now get treated without the worries associated to behaviour medication and while playing some of their favourite video games. The system marketed by SmartBrain Technologies uses neurofeedback therapy to measure and create brainwave activity.

Unlike other neurofeedback systems, what sets this one apart is its compatibility with any regular PlayStation or Xbox video game console and its use of saline-based sensors instead of the invasive electrodes traditionally seen. But the main advantage of SmartBrain’s system is that kids no longer have to stay at the doctor’s office to receive treatment. This improves accessibility through reduced treatment costs and by allowing clinics to have more time to treat a greater number of children. Read More...

Motion Control Coming to Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS

The Gametrack FreedomPerformance Designed Products (PDP) demonstrated its new Wii Remote-inspired motion controllers for the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo DS at GDC 2009. The Gametrak Freedom connects to Xbox 360 via USB and promises to accurately track 3D position and precise movements

The new device to be released in the fall of 2009 will come bundled with Squeeball, a game designed to showcase the technology. Squeeball is a collection of 150 challenges, where players will blow up, cook, slice, bat, bowl, shoot and bounce the Squeeballs with the aid of the proprietary controller.

PDP also introduced its SmartStylus for use with the Nintendo DS. This advanced stylus features vibration feedback letting players feel movements and commands within a game. The stylus also includes added features like LEDs, sound and motion feedback. Read More...