The Newest in Gaming Technology

If you have not been listening in to the latest news of the gaming world, perhaps I can do you a favour and fill you in on the latest happenings. If you have heard of games that make use of motion sensing technology, things have just got a bit hotter these days with the new Microsoft xbox kinect. While in the past the share of this side of the pie went to Nintendo with their wii console, other motion sensing game consoles have entered the market recently. Other than the xbox kinect, there is also PlayStation move from Sony, which is very similar to Nintendo’s wii. While games have usually survived being just plain games without the need for motion sensing technology, the way I see it moving forward most games will require motion sensing, given that the technology now is readily available and has stabilized too.

What is so great about these games? Well for one it introduces realism. For the Kinect dance games, you can dance any way you like and your actions would be replicated by the console. While previously you needed a dance mat, you do not need one now as the kinect camera is able to take in your actions as they are. Then there are other fitness games that also make use of motion sensing to help you lose weight. Perform the fitness repetitions accurately if not they will not be counted. Punching a virtual opponent also adds in much fun.

So I do hope that after reading this article you might want a get the Kinect Xbox which will guarantee loads of fun for you and the family. Also check out the many Kinect Games Review available in the market so that you can choose some of the more exciting and fun games to try out.

Latest Gaming Technology

The video gaming industry has certainly evolved over the last few years. The latest technology now has much more improved graphics which has made the appeal of video gaming a lot more popular. The growth of the gaming console, PC games and video games has been absolutely phenomenal.

It is no longer just a casual game that people used to enjoy for a few minutes when they got the spare time. The video gamer now gets totally immersed in the game that they are playing to such an extent that you would think that they are actually living the whole episode.

There has now become a breed known as the pro gamers that has surfaced today. The so called pro gamers are a group of video gamers that are employed by many software developers, game promoters and hardware companies.

There are pro gamers around that can be given contracts by large companies to take part in either team events or individual events at large gaming tournaments. The company sponsoring them would literally pay for any costs that these pro gamers incur from paying for their travel and duration of the stay at these tournaments to actual practice sessions.

You can now find massive gaming tournaments that are held all over the world all year long. Games that pro gamers usually get sponsored for are such games as Fifa, Quake 3 or 4, Counter-strike and many more besides.

These tournaments are usually sponsored by large institutions such as Intel, Pepsi and others. The tournaments can even have cash prizes for the eventual winner often up to as much as $400,000.

This is not the only way that gamers can earn a living from their skills. Many developers and game designers pay for gamers to test their products before they are officially launched. They recognize the benefit of the feedback that these gamers can give them in relation to their games.

Game testers will often be given contracts to test these games on behalf of the manufacturers and paid for their services after the contract has been fulfilled. This means that you could effectively make a career out of playing video games.

How Gaming Technology Will Change Manufacturing

The gaming world has been revolutionized by games that track a player’s natural body movements and translates them into the virtual environment. By using gesture and voice recognition, gaming consoles such as the Xbox Kinect allow players to kick a ball, shoot an arrow, and actively participate in the game by simply moving their bodies, no controller required.

Watch out manufacturing, the revolution is coming. Very soon, factory floors may start seeing gesture and voice recognition systems, combined with biometrics, which allow workers to control factory operations with natural body movements and voiced commands. A simple example of this, according to a Machine article, involves logging into workstations.

Currently, many automated factories operate off of Graphic User Interfaces (GUI’s), where a worker would log in by clicking on an icon and entering a username and password. In the future, the same worker could simply step up to the work station, which would scan his retina and automatically log him in. With a simple gesture the worker could command the computer to start operations, and by holding up his hand in a “stop” gesture, halt operations. The machine could be programmed to ask for confirmations of these gestures, requiring a vocal “yes” from the operator.

So how does this technology work? A color video camera works with a depth sensor that provides a 3D perspective and a set of microphones which isolates individual player’s voices. Advanced software tracks the layout of the room and player movement, monitoring movements and responding accordingly.

A biometric natural user interface (NUI) would be able to identify only the person logged into that particular machine, responding singularly to that person’s gestures and movements while ignoring all other workers. Should a worker leave a workstation, it would not respond to anyone else and can even be programmed to shut down after a specified period of time.

A few clear advantages of gesture-based interfaces include:

Eliminates reliance on touch-screens in greasy, dusty, or less-than-ideal environments where these screens can become unreadable and hard to use.

Increases worker safety – allows workers to keep on gloves and protective glasses, which may have previously required removal to work with keyboards or see touch-screens. Also leads to a cleaner work environment, by eliminating the need to touch screens, keyboards or a mouse.

Reduces maintenance – gesture-based interfaces eliminate the need for keyboards, mouse’s and other input devices which often wear out and need to be replaced.

Requires less training – workers naturally have gesture-ability and many are used to using this type of technology in consumer applications (games and smartphones). This will make adaptation to it in the industrial setting very easy for them.

Eliminates language barriers – since the gestures are all the same, no matter what language you speak, this “universal language” would be the same in factories all over the world. It would also further reduce training by eliminating keyboard and language training.

Reduces costs – reduces training, maintenance and costly halts in production

Machine Design predicts this technology first showing up in factories for heavy equipment or applications with extreme conditions, like cold rooms, in which there are more dangerous processes, more things to clog up input devices, and its harder for workers to maneuver around the touchscreen or the mouse.

Gesture based technology is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to NUI’s. Check out the rest of the Machine Design article for where this technology is headed.

Video Gaming Technology Takes Strides Forward

One type of technology that definitely brings people a lot of entertainment, enjoyment, and even social bonding is video gaming platforms. Ever since Atari and other primitive video game platforms first came out about thirty years ago, the video gaming industry has tried to make better and better devices to keep people interested in all the have to offer.

There have been a number of breakthroughs in video gaming technology over the years, and as a result we now have video game platforms that have built in hard drives, optical disc drives, enormous amounts of RAM, and even multiple computer processors working in parallel. In the past, the major competitors in the video gaming industry have been Atari and Intellivision, and later Nintendo and Sega, but now it’s pretty much come down to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Play Station 3. Both of these two products have a lot in common, including the fact that they both have multiple processors, built in hard drives, optical disc drive, the ability to connect to the Internet, and stunning graphics that can reach HDTV resolutions.

One of the features that they both have in common is the ability to play high definition DVD’s onto HDTV sets, making them high definition DVD players (as well as normal DVD plays and CD players). Even these High Definition DVD formats are in competition because the Play Station 3 plays Sony’s Blu-ray high def DVD format and the Xbox 360 plays Toshiba’s HD-DVD format. The way in which these two devices accomplishes this are a little bit different though. That’s because the Xbox 360’s ability to play high def DVD’s comes from an optional HD-DVD drive that can be attached to the unit via cable, and the Play Station 3 comes with a Blu-ray drive installed.

The fact that these two devices play different High Def DVD’s has brought them right into the middle of a format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Both formats essentially accomplish the same thing (although there are technical reasons why Blu-ray may be superior), but can’t be played on each other’s players and disc drives. For that reason, it’s generally agreed that only one of the formats can survive the format war.

Both Sony and Toshiba (with Microsoft’s help) have been trying to gain an edge in the market for their respective formats, and both of these video game systems have become pawns in the format war. It was hoped that the Play Station 3 would promote the benefits of the Blu-ray format to people who would buy a Play Station anyway and then watch Blu-ray discs on it as an afterthought. The problem with this strategy has been that the extra cost of including a Blu-ray drive is reflected in the Play Station 3’s price and many gamers don’t want to pay the extra money. The Xbox 360, on the other hand, has avoided that pitfall by making its HD-DVD drive an optional separate purchase.

All format wars aside though, these to gaming platforms are very impressive pieces of technology.

A leader in technology reporting, Julia Hall has published articles about the latest digital devices and gadgets for over ten years. After graduating from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering, Julia turned down huge salaries from some of the most recognized fortune 500 companies in the world to pursue her dream of becoming a leading consumer advocate. Julia uses her expertise to cut through the too good to be true deals offered by high tech companies to reveal the real steals and the real duds that we’re bombarded with daily. If you enjoy staying on the cutting edge of technology, whether for business or pleasure, but find yourself occasionally confused by the overwhelming information out there let Julia be your guide.