If Wii MotionPlus or Microsoft's Project Natal are the next generations of video game motion control, what, you may wonder, is the next generation of controlling a video game by blowing your breath at it?
A company called Zyxio showed a new four-sensor system called SensaWaft that allows users to blow a mouse cursor across a computer monitor, with directional control. A company rep told a Daily Telegraph reporter at CES that this tech could also be used for video games.
Also, some hype for SensWaft's gaming applications from the company's official site:
GAMES: hands already overbusy... seeking a better immersion? Hardcore gamers get an edge by doing more without interruption of gameplay: pan around, swap weapons, zoom... Casual gamers enjoy peripheral-based games, and look for new sensations: from music to meditation, sensawaft™ opens up brand new horizons
Veteran Nintendo DS gamers are probably all too aware of what the first generation of breathing-controlled games have been like. Breathing into the system's mic has been used to play an instrument in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and for Bowser to breathe fire in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Of the many DS games I've played, however, I'm aware of only one that encourages the player to use breath-based control in addition to hand-based controls. That's Arkedo's Nervous Brickdown, a variation on Breakout that allows the player to control the bottom-screen paddle with their hands while blowing into the mic to help keep the ball they are bouncing aloft.
I've derisively referred to the DS' mic-blowing control schemes as Huff-N-Puff controls. I'm not a fan. But watch the Sensawaft video and judge for yourself.
And let's close with this bit from the Telegraph that will either thrill you or scare you:
Sensawaft has been invented by Zyxio, an American company, which said it was in talks with a major video games console manufacturer, about licensing the breath-controlled technology to take video games to another level.
The most likely customer is Microsoft, which owns the X-Box console and which has invested heavily in motion-sensitive technology with its Project Natal.
CES 2010: breath-controlled mobile phones to be made? [Daily Telegraph]