Friday, January 21, 2011

The LED's of Project K

I must admit the front fascia of Project K has me at odds. So, I thought it best to elaborate on the inclusion of a fascia because many commenter's are questioning it's necessity.

The front fascia/guard of Project K houses 2 identical LED's that can produce an array of colors. Their basic function is to report pitch, roll, and yaw motions to Kinect. This was determined necessary as Kinect has/had a tough time recognizing subtle wrist turns in-game. (See Kinect Sports Bowling) But, the LED's functionality delves much deeper than that.

I felt a feature that would allow a gamers mood/temperament to be a factor in the difficulty of game titles could be a new experience. How should this work in Project K? Well try this, if you are sitting at your PC right now, take your index and fore-finger of your right hand and place it into the meaty base of your palm beneath the thumb on your left hand. Can you feel your pulse? This area of the palm is where Project K is in constant direct contact with you. As you game, your pulse becomes an indicator of the difficulty of the experience.

Project K is designed with a sensor in it's handle to monitor your pulse. I know that many of you are asking: Didn't Nintendo already do this? Yes they did with the Wii Vitality Sensor. And while a novel idea, it was hampered by a terrible design manifestation. Developers could have created very compelling software with a pulse sensor if designed properly. I can guarantee you Nintendo hasn't abandoned the patent it has on this idea. (See Wii 2.)

For a real world example of how pulse monitoring affects Project K's LED's in-game, consider your favorite racing simulator. Let's say you are in a dead heat for 1st place on the last lap of a championship race. You need to keep your cool, but you can't and your pulse quickens. The pulse sensor in Project K tells the LED's to display a stressed color palette. Kinect recognizes the color and instructs the software experience to behave erratically. Your steering becomes shaky, your vision blurs, etc etc. The game adapts to your current physical state in real time! The only way to regain control of your game is by slowing your pulse!

I divulged this information to gather the core gamer's response. I feel this is where gaming is headed. And with properly designed hardware, it can be a sweet ride!

Should I remove or retain the front fascia on Project K given the features detailed above? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Optical sensors all have one common flaw: line-of-sight.

    You cannot guarantee that the fascia will always be facing the RGB camera. Even if they were infrared, you couldn't guarantee that they'd always be facing the IR camera.

    Please do not rely on optical transmitters.

    Your best alternative is a magnetometer with a gyroscope built-in for angular-momentum compensation.

  2. Thanks or the comment Majinomicon...I have considered the fascia will not always be facing the camera. I am making an assumption the RGB cam will be able to notice the angle the action is creating and compensate.

    thank you for the suggestion of sensors!