Posted 01/15/2014 at 10:25 AM
Posted 4 years ago
Umoove, a high-tech Israeli startup, has announced the release of its first app on the iTunes App Store; and it could mark a change in the future of smartphone gaming.
Umoove Experience: The 3D Face and Eye Tracking Flying Game is more tech demo than game, but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant. As the name suggests, the first-person flying game lets you navigate your way around a 3D village using your head as the controller. Rather than tap or tilt the device, a simple turn of the head will move you in the right direction. This is achieved by using the front-facing camera, with no other hardware necessary for tracking.
While the calibrated head movements are the star attraction of the game, players do have an objective: to collect various potions that are scattered throughout the 3D landscape.
“Enjoy the 3D flying experience and test your skills by collecting the purple magic potions, which will give you more energy to continue exploring the village,” the App Store game description reads.
“The Umoove Experience is only the beginning! Think about the potential of this technology on other app and gaming experiences such as first person shooters, driving games, and other flying or running gaming experiences.”
Umoove says that the game is a demo that highlights the way in which head and eye tracking can be used to revolutionize gaming in the future. However, the company is not looking to replace traditional smartphone gaming controls, rather supplement them for a more immersive gaming experience.
“We’re talking about adding another layer on top of touching, similar to what the mouse did with the keyboard — they didn’t throw out the keyboard, it actually added suddenly to the ability to have another layer of interaction, so it’s the same sort of thing here,” Umoove CEO Yitzi Kempinski told TechCrunch.
“It’s supposed to be something that mimics real-world experience. I’ll give you an example… if you think of a first-person shooter, those games you play and you have to shoot, and then you have the joystick to move around and you have to drag the screen to move around the room. Basically what we do is simple: based on where you face that’s where you’re aiming.”
For Umoove, The Umoove Experience has not been released with the intention of being a big seller (it’s a free download); it is simply a way to show developers what the tech is capable of. For this reason, the company has included a link within the game to request the SDK of the app, opening up the tech for collaboration with other developers.
If your iDevice is running iOS 5 or above, Umoove Experience is available to download now from the App Store.