This Is The First Handheld Motion Controller For Mobile Games

To combat our — especially younglings' — inclination toward staying at home to play mobile games, a startup named UDU has introduced a new and immersive handheld gadget. The device allows people of any age to move outdoors while also allowing them to enjoy mobile games wherever they go. The UDU Console is the first-of-its-kind motion controller that will enable you to play games on your phone while staying active and participating in physical activity. With motion-controlled gaming and haptic feedback, people can game while being out and about.

Mobile gaming has always been about being tucked away in a snug space and immersing yourself in the illusory world. Seldom do apps like "Pokemon Go" bring novel experiences that inspire people to step out of both their safe spaces and comfort zones. But sluggish savants can easily find ways of tricking their phones into believing they are veering outside without actually moving even an inch. The UDU Console sets out to change that. 

Including physical activity in mobile gaming

The UDU Console solves that by hooking up to a mobile phone. Once connected, the sensors in the controller will detect movement. Only by moving in real life will the players be able to effectively let their characters move in the game and let the story proceed — if the game requires it.

Like the Nintendo Switch JoyCon or older Sony PlayStation Move and Wii motion-sensing handheld controllers, the UDU controller can be used in games to wield weapons using hand-waving gestures. If they like to limit to only safe-for-work games, the controller can be swung to emulate the swinging of a baseball bat or tennis racket and other things like that. Besides games, the controller can also be used for casual activities such as painting in thin air with the help of augmented reality (AR). All of this is powered by a 9-axis motion sensor that sits inside the UDU Console.

An extensive suite of options

The UDU Console gets its name from the fact that despite being a controller, it features a circular 240x240 pixels LCD display. The display can be used to show a myriad of customization options for the tool or weapon used in the game. Underneath the display is a capacitive trackpad for navigating through the options on the phone, while above it lies an RGB light that can be manipulated as per the game.

The controller features trigger and squeeze buttons like the kind you see on the handheld tracker controllers accompanying VR headsets such as the Oculus Quest. The controller connects to the phone over Bluetooth but also supports Wi-Fi for direct downloads. For charging, it features a port for a magnetic connector. The controller also includes a wrist lanyard to put it around your wrist and leave worries behind while using it to play. Although the company projects kids to be its primary users, we foresee users of all ages enjoying the experience. There are, however, a few challenges at present.

Challenges with this unique gadget

The UDU Controller will work with select mobile games at the beginning, and the company plans to introduce a "UDU Games" launcher to help users pick from among the supported games. We don't know if it will work with all games present on Android and iOS. If it doesn't, that would be a waste of an investment.

Secondly, the controller is not readily available yet, so don't consider it a feasible Christmas gifting option. It is set to hit the market in April 2023 and is currently listed as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter.

If you appreciate a gaming device like the UDU Controller and plan to support it — or want to be among the earliest users — you can head to the Kickstarter page and pledge support. For €119, you will get one controller with a one-year subscription to the UDU Games apps. However, the actual launch price will be set much higher at €199. In addition, users will also have to pay €10 per month to use the service after launch.