Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Future Of Gaming?

NAU, an international design collective, is working on something that will make the Wii's revolutionary game control system appear as high tech as the old ball-in-the-cup game. Check out the Cocoon, a human-sized orb that will surround you by a 360° display screen and full sound.

Rather than relying on a joystick, mouse or controller of any kind, the Cocoon will feature motion-tracking cameras that follow the movement of your arms, legs and face, plus a motion-sensitive platform will recognize whether you are standing, walking or jumping. The Cocoon will allow gamers to truly enter a video game and interact with characters like they have never done before.

But wait, there's more! The Cocoon will also connect to the Internet and allow you to literally grab information rather than clicking on it. Just imagine how this would impact online shopping. You could stroll through the isles of your favorite stores without ever leaving your home.

While techies and gamers are thrilled about the Cocoon, we imagine parents of gamers won't be as excited. Many parents today already think their kids are too engrossed in video games and the Internet but just wait until kids can enter their own private orb and completely shut out their immediate surroundings, i.e., mom and dad.

At present, NAU is hopping to have a prototype ready by late 2009, with models commercially available by 2014. The first commercially available models will be intended for public spaces or to be leased by companies, until the technology becomes affordable for the consumer market.

- Jeff McKinney