CES 2012: Hands-on with MicroVision PicoP Gen2 laser display engine

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I’ve said before that CES 2012 is the stage where we receive a look into the future of gaming. While at the show, I saw some very impressive tech such as eye tracking which could make for some very interesting games. However, gesture controls are still very relevant in the gaming space. In fact, some would argue gesture-based gaming without controllers is just getting started. During my time at CES, I got to check out how MicroVision’s recently announced PicoP Gen2 laser display engine can give you control of a game by using nothing but your index finger.

Allow me to paint a more descriptive picture with my words. The MicroVision PicoP Gen2 is essentially a projector. It’s not the same kind of projector you may have seen in your middle school science classes. For one, it’s much smaller. It’s also far more advanced. The PicoP Gen2 is capable of some pretty impressive feats such as displaying 720p HD video resolution, and it can create projections that are touch-sensitive. In my demo, I played a game called Air Strike 3D that put me in control of an attack helicopter.

The PicoP Gen2 was projecting Air Strike 3D onto a wall as it was plugged into a PC. I was given a small paper-like band to place around my finger that was embedded with technology that the PicoP Gen2 was able to detect.

Air Strike 3D was simple in nature, but it did a good job at showcasing the PicoP Gen2 laser display engine. By simply moving my finger, I was able to control the helicopter’s movements. I initially thought I had to physically touch the surface the game was projected on for this to work, but I soon realized I only needed to be within range of the PicoP Gen2 for it to pick up on my finger’s movements. The PicoP Gen2 laser display engine could even see past shadows that appeared on the surface where the video was projected.

It was impressive to see how smooth the gameplay was considering a projector was translating all my movements to on-screen actions. What’s even more impressive is how the PicoP Gen2 laser display engine can be embedded in a range of devices. The underlying tech is so small, it can fit into smartphones, tablets and accessories and take up very little space. Here’s hoping OEM’s take notice and help create a new era of mobile gaming using technology such as the MicroVision PicoP Gen 2 laser display engine.

Here’s a photo depicting the size of the MicroVision PicoP Gen2 optical module. This is all that’s needed to bring touch-sensitive projection gaming to your favorite mobile gaming device.

Read [GamerTell @ CES 2012]


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