Microvision FPS prototype straps pico-projector to gun [Video]

Dec 11, 2009
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Microvision FPS prototype straps pico-projector to gun [Video]

Laser pico-projector manufacturer Microvision have been showing off their latest first-person shooter prototype, which straps a PicoP projector to a gun controller and responds to movement.  Players can physically turn around to move their in-game perspective, with the projector's "infinite focus" meaning that the picture is always crisp no matter that the distance between pico and wall keeps shifting.

Video demo after the cut

We've seen a similar concept in the shape of the Game Gun, which was a DIY project and instead of a pico-projector used an LCD display attached to the top of the controller.  We're guessing a similar setup is in place here, with some sort of accelerometer-equipped controller used to track the player's movement and map it to head movement in the game.

Microvision haven't revealed the full hardware details as yet, but they'll be showing off the prototype system at Intel's Extreme Masters PC gaming tournament in Edmonton, Alberta this weekend.  There gamers will be able to play Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, as shown in this video, as well as a more family-friendly game which uses a "projection disc" controller - again, with a laser-based pico attached - to navigate Aladdin on a flying carpet.

Press Release:

Microvision’s PicoP Display Engine at Heart of Realistic Game Demo at Intel Extreme Masters Tournament

EDMONTON, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Players of first-person shooter computer games traditionally play while seated with a keyboard, mouse, and fixed monitor.

However, these hardcore gamers soon may be unleashed from their stationary position to enjoy a realistic virtual combat experience with life-sized video images, projected on walls, ceilings and floors, all from a weapon-styled projection game controller they hold in their hands.

Among the first consumers to try a prototype of such a product will be the players and spectators attending the Intel® Extreme Masters PC gaming tournament in Edmonton, Alberta on Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13. Intel Corp., sponsor of the event, has invited laser display technology supplier Microvision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS), of Redmond, Wash., to give gamers a first look at a new technology that projects a follow-you-anywhere video image – up to 200 inches across – from a handheld game controller.

Game players at the tourney who give the prototype a spin will experience “an immersive, 360-degree feel,” promises Ian Brown, Microvision’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The company’s laser projection engine can show a distortion-free image on nearly any flat or curved surface. Consequently, the game goes along with the gamer and reflects the character’s position in three-dimensional space.”

It’s no coincidence that Microvision also happens to be a main mover behind the emerging consumer-electronics product category known as “pico projectors.” In September, the company started shipping its first SHOWWX™ laser pico projectors – based on its PicoP® display engine – to customers in the Asia Pacific region and Europe. But the game tournament demo in Canada will show off the versatility of Microvision’s PicoP display engine beyond the streaming movies, music videos, camera-phone snapshots and business presentations which are the media most likely to be shown with pico projectors.

“The game application takes advantage of our PicoP display engine’s infinite focus,” Brown says. “We believe that Microvision’s technology can be used to create a new level of realism and interactive freedom for gamers. As the worldwide market for video games exceeds $50 billion, we are very excited to partner with Intel to showcase this new advance in gaming technology to the world’s best gamers at Intel Extreme Masters.”

“Intel believes that radical innovations like Microvision’s laser projection engine will continue to drive the gaming industry forward,” said George Woo, Intel Corporation’s Marketing Manager of the Intel Extreme Masters. “We are pleased to demonstrate how Microvision’s technology and the Intel® Core™ i7 processor Extreme Edition can create a new way for gamers to become immersed in the game world.”

About Microvision

Microvision provides the PicoP display technology platform designed to enable next-generation display and imaging products for pico projectors, vehicle displays, and wearable displays that interface with mobile devices. The company’s projection display engine uses highly efficient laser light sources, which can create vivid images with high contrast and brightness. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.microvision.com and the company’s blog www.microvision.com/displayground.

About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom and blogs.intel.com.


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