Techs We’d Rather Play With Than 3D

Illustration for article titled Techs We’d Rather Play With Than 3D

Things are moving towards 3D nowadays. Sure, it's cool. But it's hard to shake the feeling that this isn't a technology we're choosing, rather than one that's been chosen for us.

What technology would you rather see game makers play with? We've listed a few below.

Having been to a few events showing off 3D gaming, I've only seen one game genuinely made with the tech in mind. And it was quite cool. Boosting in Wipeout HD makes the car come further out of the screen while the track stretches out in front.


Not only was it clever design – allowing me to see further along the track as I went faster – it was also plain that computer generated graphics could play with the 3D more effectively. Much more impressive than content "re-purposed" for 3D.

But we've all just bought our HD TVs. Heaven forbid they last a good 5 years. There's worry about its effects on childrens' eyes, but more importantly, we've got to wear those silly glasses.

Considering they probably won't fully utilise the tech for the first little while anyway, I think I'll skip the early adopter train on this one. Here's a list of what we'd rather see in the meantime, and it's encouraging to note that 2 out of 3 are homegrown.

1. 3D Headtracking Using Crazy Wiimote Hacking Business

This guy uses existing tech, on a "non-3D" TV, to make a better 3D experience than what we currently call 3D. Why hasn't anyone made anything with this yet? Keep those videos coming, awesome mystery researcher guy.

2. Emotive's Epoc Headset

Everyone wants a piece of Emotiv's technology, which not only measures facial expressions, but affectiv and cognitiv signals as well. In short, it reads your mind.


Currently users have to "train" the headset to their way of thinking, similar to how you'd configure voice recognition software over a period of time. After teaching it what signals your brain sends out when it issues a "push forward" command enough times, it'll eventually get it.

The man in this video is using his arms to help his brain generate what's needed, but don't mistake this for Kinect. The idea is, eventually you wouldn't have to lift a finger.


It's thought that children are the best users of Emotiv, given their more imaginative minds. But even though they're mainly targeting gaming, the company has garnered widespread global interest, from the military to organisations helping the disabled.

3. Motionscan

It seems like Team Bondi has been working on L.A. Noire since Michael Jackson was black, but lately some really interesting stuff has started to emerge. In partnership with Sydney company Depth Analysis, the new game will feature a technology called Motionscan which uses 16 3D cameras (32 total) to measure every movement of your face.


No dots, no paint. Just sit there, say your piece, and stick it in the game. Impressively, the tech seems to waltz right past the uncanny valley by incorporating an element of caricature in your avatar. It raises the value of proper acting in video games, and L.A. Noire will utilise this by requiring you, as a detective, to be able to tell if an NPC is lying to you.

Under-par storytelling has been a constant in the gaming world. Techs like this could be a major step in fixing that. There aren't any videos available yet, but GamePro's John Davidson wrote up his experience from E3.


So how about you? Is 3D a tech you're willing to accept with open arms? What would you rather see in its place, enjoying full industry support?

This post originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.

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The first two have clear problems that make them about as interesting as 3D... when it first debuted in the fifties.

Head tracking is all good and well (and both Kinect and just a PSEye camera are supposed to do it, in fact), until you realize the screen isn't actually moving with your head. So you have to keep looking out of the corner of your eye if you turn your head, or to stand up and walk around to get anything out of the effect. Or to be inside a 360 ring of screens. Which would be cool, but not too cost effective.

I read somewhere that Forza Kinect tracked your *shoulders* to move the camera while driving, which I guess could work better.

As for the Emotiv thing... well, look at it! I know they've shown a much sleeker prototype that looks like a plastic tiara at some point, but still. It's a dangly thing on my head. And it has all the same issues as all other motion sensing stuff, plus most of the issues of voice recognition as well, including having to train the thing for it to work anywhere close to properly. On the other hand, it sounds like it could be a major breakthrough for disabled people, so their work has all my support and if making it for entertainment is what it takes for them to get funding in order to make it work, then so be it.