Kung-fu computer game delivers real kicks
Today's New Scientist describes a great new exercise game in development:
Kick Ass Kung Fu lets players fight onscreen enemies using real kicks, punches, head-butts or by wielding any improvised weapon they choose. A video camera captures their movements from one side and superimposes a two-dimensional silhouette of them onto a computer screen. A computer then translates the silhouette's moves into real-time computerised kicks and punches, enabling a player to take on virtual opponents.So it's like Eyetoy:Kinetic but even more directly interactive. The current version requires a large space but they are working to commercialize the same technology in a home version.
The main website for the product is kickasskungfu.net, where they say:
Kick Ass Kung-Fu is an immersive game installation that transforms computer gaming into a visual, physical performance like dance or sports. You can fight and defy gravity like kung-fu movie actors - only there's no wires or post-production needed, thanks to the real-time embodied interaction and virtual set technology.[...]I can't wait to try this game. Check out the video!
The game takes place on a 5 meter cushioned playfield suitable for martial arts and acrobatics training. Using custom computer vision technology, you are taken inside an artificial reality where the normal laws of physics no longer apply. Your movements are exaggerated so that you can easily dodge your opponent's bullets by jumping five meters in the air and landing behind his back. Using the dual projected screens, one at each end of the playfield, you can also continue by counter-attacking your stupefied enemy from the behind.
(hat tip: "Andrea")