Posts Tagged ‘Kinect’

Virtual games in a real sports club

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Hey, Tron fans. The future you’ve been dreaming of is here, located in a sports club inside a shopping mall in Tokyo. Or one step closer, anyway. With the new e-Sports Ground, players can run around a yoga studio kicking balls and breaking blocks made of light projected on the floor. The technology behind it is a system similar to Microsoft’s Kinect:  Sensors hanging from the corners of the the ceiling read and react to players’ motions and instantly change the projected images accordingly. Players don’t need to hold or wear any special equipment.

Get your virtual game on

As described by Nikkei Trendy, there are sports games, where where players kick virtual balls to each other and try to score, like one-on-one soccer or full-body air hockey. Another option is like stepping into the kind of video game you might have played … if you were a kid in the early ’80s. You become the paddle in a version of Breakout, using your  feet or hands to bounce a ball into a layer of bricks to destroy them. In Spacerunner, you outrun moving blobs of light. For a more cerebral experience, a game that translates roughly to “Spreadsheet Walk” challenges you to perform calculations on numbers on the ground by walking on them in the right order. We don’t remember seeing that in Tron.

The space opened last Friday at sports club Renaissance in Kitasuna, Koto-ku. Playing is free for sports club members. The game schedule is posted on the gym’s homepage. A spokesperson at the gym was quoted in Nikkei Trendy as saying that they have plans to add the system to one more branch early next year and hope to install it in others as they are renovated.

The maker of the e-Sports Ground is Eureka Computer. The system is also currently on display at the Kobe Biennale. Versions of the game system have been appearing at new media and digital art exhibits in Japan over the last two years, including at 3331 Arts Chiyoda and at the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2010.

Get your virtual freak on this Halloween

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Don’t you hate it when you go to a Halloween party in a sweet costume and nobody else has even made an effort? Luckily there’s one party this year, at which you can be assured all guests will be dressed to kill, at least they will be in the virtual world. Bacardi Halloween Bat Night at Parco Shibuya is featuing a “digital costume attraction” to get folks in a spooky mood.

Using motion capture technology from Microsoft Kinect, the faces of party-goers will be digitally mapped in real time and then altered to sinister effect. The video above  is just a teaser of what will be on the menu. On the night a wider variety of costumes and scary faces will be available, courtesy of Rhizomatiks, a team that specializes in interactive digital installations and performances.

By being the first to unveil this technology to Japan, Bacardi will probably be able to create a good bit of buzz about the event. They’re also teasing potential party-goers by withholding information on how you can get a hold of tickets. To find out how to attend you have to like Bat Night on Facebook and keep checking for updates, a cunning way to keep their brand upmost in the minds of party-goers.

This much we do know: The event will take place at Parco SR-6 on Oct. 29 from 5 p.m., and DJs Kaori and Rocketman will perform. Entry will be limited to 60 people. Drinks are also, of course, limited to Bacardi cocktails. And as you know, virtual costumes will be provided at the venue.


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