Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Intelligent Machines

Human Joystick

Sensors turn video games into a workout.

Video gaming is traditionally a sedentary pursuit, but that’s changing thanks to interfaces that turn a player’s motions into onscreen actions.

Already, more than 1.5 million copies of Dance Dance Revolution, which challenges players to shimmy in sync with animated characters, have been sold; more than one million units of the EyeToy, a motion-tracking PlayStation camera that inserts players into games, have been sold through February.

This year, Nintendo will introduce a game console whose controller contains a motion-tracking chip; in order to, say, thrust a sword in the game world, a player simply waves the controller in the air. And a startup called GameRunner has invented the first custom treadmill that controls off-the-shelf, first-person computer games. As the player walks, sensors underneath the belt translate its motion into in-game running or walking.

This story is part of our May/June 2006 Issue
See the rest of the issue
Subscribe

The timing of such gadgets is good: “Everyone’s concerned about childhood obesity,” notes Joy Garner, cofounder of GameRunner.

Want to go ad free? No ad blockers needed.

Become an Insider
Already an Insider? Log in.
More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.