Most of the gaming user interfaces have been concentrating on making the feel of the game, and graphics, more real and life-like. That, however, doesn’t make them any more suitable for people who are aged and who, incidentally, wouldn’t cope very well to motion-sensor gadgets either. Now, University of Tsukuba is working on a trampoline gaming system that is really fun, does not require you to exert yourself and is quite suitable even for senior citizens.
The trampoline gaming system works with the user jumping or moving on a trampoline, which is a lot less difficult and straining that moving or jumping on a hard floor. Under the trampoline are infrared sensors which feel the heel and toe movement and then translate these movements into in-game gestures. Another sensor placed in front of the trampoline detects the user’s orientation and then helps the user navigate through the game with the help of that.
For instance, if you move with a left-side orientation persistently, the game will interpret it as walking forth. Jumping still remains jumping in the game, so you don’t actually have to walk and rather let the trampoline rubber keep ushering you up to keep moving in the game.
The university team that is working on this gaming interface says that the interface is intended precisely for such people who do not normally exercise – for instance aged people. Also, this whole interface makes exercising far more fun without straining one much. According to a team member, ‘We’ve developed this system to make exercise less intimidating for people who aren’t used to it. Exercising on trampoline has less impact on the legs and back than exercising on the floor, and it can be very effective.’