The Australian Team That Wants To Fix Motion Controlled Gaming

It's never occurred to me until this very second, but maybe the problem with motion controlled gaming is the lack of resistance.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. The best games, in terms of control and feel, have a great feeling of resistance and weight in their controls. With motion controls that often gets lost, particularly with Kinect when you're swinging at the air. The REALM System — currently being developed in Sydney by two Aussies, a Frenchman and a New Zealander — uses resistance bands alongside unique technology to provide that feeling of weight. It's also compatible on the Oculus Rift, which makes perfect sense.

The team has already created six games that use the The REALM System, but I'm more excited about the possibilities if entire teams of developers get their hands on the tech. Also: decent fitness games please!

But the technology is one of those things that expands beyond games. The kind of data it can collect could also be helpful with actual hard training, or rehabilitation. I like the idea.

You can find out more about the project at The REALM System Kickstarter here


    It’s never occurred to me until this very second, but maybe the problem with motion controlled gaming is the lack of resistance.

    Someone needs to make a habit of watching Extra Credits. :) They nailed what's wrong with the Kinect back in 2012.

    Last edited 23/02/15 6:06 pm

      I like extra credits. Why did I stop watching it?

      Every now and then you click a link and immediately regret it... I too had forgotten about Extra Credits, and now the rest of my night is forfeit.

    Ugh.. Resistance bands. *shakes head*

    Good idea, but it's headed in the wrong direction.

      What do you propose instead? Not having a go, just interested in what you think the direction should be? Im thinking this might be the first step technology to something better.

        well, you could always use electric shock wrist bracelets which seize up the muscles on impact to imitate actual shock of hitting solid objects...

          The trouble with that is it can't stop momentum. Useful for simulating being hit, or constricting your hand muscles making control difficult, but not much else.

        A weighted cable/pulley system? Using those bands just does not feel natural. When the whole intention is to make it seem more realistic so I feel like bands will be far too tacky.

      It looks like it might be a decent and not ridiculously expensive interim solution. To really do resistance and impact properly, you're presumably going to need some kind of exo-skeletal setup which is going to be expensive to develop and I dare say expensive to own.

    Man, now that motion technology and VR are becoming viable, I need to hurry up and get someone to develop the idea I've had for immersive VR that's been kicking around in my head for maybe a decade now. Basically it boils down to something that's like a reverse muscle system that provides a counter force to your movements. In addition to emulating the resistance of surfaces in your interaction with the world, a second system would be in place to provide localised pressure to parts of your body to emulate the world's interaction with you.

      We built something like you are proposing using Nitinol wires back in the late 80s, (i.e. last time VR was cool). It worked as you describe.
      The problem with any of this tech is it becomes more and more 'intrusive', i.e. you have to 'gear up', calibrate, have it able to fit any size body etc. and then you have quite a procedure to go through before you can begin gaming.

    I don't see this being usable with any of the current or future input devices, it really needed to be hands free.

      Why not? By itself it could potentially work with the Kinect, and for the Wiimotes/PS Move, just have something in those handles to put the controller.

        None of those are good enough for the Rift, which is basically my point.

        The gloves and motion controllers that do look promising will not work with this hardware, so its a stop gap at best or a cynical cash grab at worst.

    It’s never occurred to me until this very second, but maybe the problem with motion controlled gaming is the lack of resistance.
    Fo' reals? It was about the first thing I thought of when I considered swinging a virtual sword.
    You swing sword, avatar swings sword. Avatar's sword hits enemy's sword, and loses momentum, your sword keeps on going.
    The only solution is to replace all motion controlled swords with an unstoppable lightsabre that cuts through absolutely everything.

      Yep. 1:1 tracking is only a small part of the equation. I've been saying it about the Rift since the 90's. Head tracking and close screens are great if you just want to look but it's not VR if you can't interact with the world properly. It's the wrinkle in the Rift that people seem to not want to acknowledge. You can slap two 4K screens on there and eliminate lag completely, you can use it on a setup that can render each grain of sand on a beach individually, but you're still only creating a view port. Sight is probably the least important part of VR but it's the only one we have any idea on how to pull off.
      Not that I blame them. It's hard to imagine a device that could make you feel like you were doing something simple like running around a big empty room. I feel like I could spend a lifetime trying to figure out how to simulate a storm in VR without just building a tailor build storm simulator room. It's just really hard not to roll my eyes at the big hyped up advancements in VR technology that don't really do anything more than a home version of a headset and gun VR system.

        I've been saying this for ages, without the input device solutions, the rift long-term is going to be mostly for flight/combat sims and racing, as that has already been solved with yokes and wheels and HOTAS setups.

        Well it opens up much more than that. Say that because there are limitations then it makes the technology limited to specific types of games. As gamers we have always made compromises between what we see and what we imagine.
        It can be hard to imagine some games being able to be replicated exactly in VR but that is down to game design. Using a controller to move isn't a big issue for most people, and gameplay wise is no different to what we have now. Gamers adapt to the controls, we always have, we always will

    I did pretty much this a few years ago with resistance bands between my feet and my hands while playing Wii sports boxing. It was kind of fun, but I wouldn't say it improved immersion.

    They need some kind of dynamic resistance level that the game can manipulate to make you feel like you've hit a solid object, etc.

    Sex games. Combined with an Oculus and some sort of blutooth fleshlight we will never see certain people in public ever again.

      There was a video floating around a while back of a hentai game that someone had hooked a Novint Falcon with a groin attachment to.

      I'll let you do the searching.

    how do you fix something that isn't broken? You don't.

    this is why force feedback steering wheels are such a big deal. you lose so much of the feel of driving with out that resistance.

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