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!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project K Design Reveal!

Here is the basic design of Project K. (The premise for its inception is here.) Many details, such as button aesthetic, button tech, and layout; have been purposely left absent. You are looking at the first design iteration, not those that followed. The views shown are not expressively detailed.

***If you wish to see the most recent and detailed iteration of Project K, please fill out the NDA and submit it to our offices.***

The Project K patent itself is one of 'Design', in formality. It was submitted to the USPTO office in the second half of 2010. (An inside USPTO connection has stated that first action on all new patent applications is currently at least 10 months.) Components of current console controllers are used within this device, and are presently patented by their respectful companies. So, a 'Utility' patent could not be filed for Project K.

The primary point of focus for Project K is to allow full control of all game genres when gaming with Xbox Kinect. Also, the design sought needed to be lightweight, of small footprint (shorter than a 4.3" smartphone), accommodating to all hand sizes, offer dual/single mode functionality, open/closed hand operation, and wireless.

Again, a few major details are absent. But, this is the gist of the design. Once the first prototype has been constructed, I will post real world images.

Please let me know what you think in the comments. Would you consider using a device such as Project K for gaming? I hope you like what you see!


1. Top Cap - Houses primary analog control input, chipset and silicon, bumper input.

2. Handle - Houses rumble motors, accelerometers, A/B/X/Y Buttons, security strap, trigger input.

3. Bumper location.

4. Trigger location.

5. A,B,X,Y Button location - 2 Buttons Per Device.  A/X, B/Y configuration. Full compliment of current 360 controller buttons and analog sticks available in dual/paired mode. Paired mode offers a traditional control scheme for core gaming titles.

6. Built-In Security Strap - Allows secure open and closed hand operation. For open-hand operation, imagine placing your hands palms out in front of you and fingers spread open. For closed-hand operation, imagine gripping a ski pole handle.

7. Base Cap - Houses power button, rechargeable battery, charging connector, Dual/Single mode pairing button/sensor.

8. Front fascia with LED illumination to report controller position and pulse information to Kinect sensor.