In recent years we’ve seen plenty of advances in gaming technology, touchscreen EVERYTHING, the movement-based Kinect, eye-controlled asteroids, the list could go on and on, and that’s just the stuff in the public domain, who knows what’s going on behind closed doors…
But how about a game that’s controlled solely by splashing your hand around in a bowl of water? Sounds strangely appealing, doesn’t it?
Well Luc Geurts and Vero Vanden Abeele, from the Leuven Engineering College in Belgium have developed the Splash Controller, which is essentially just a very clever bowl full of water. The bowl is special as it’s fitted with electrodes covering all of its inner surface. Once the bowl is full of water the circuit is complete and the electrodes are activated, allowing any computer to read the different gestures you make with the water and ways you manipulate the surface. For instance, splashing like a crazed person could mean one thing and swirling your hand round could mean another.
According to New Scientist, Geurts and Abeele have developed a very simple pattern-recognition game to begin with, but soon there should be more advanced controls and uses of the Splash Controller so we can play more regular video games with it.
As strange as it sounds, there are plenty of opportunities for the controller to make waves (we’re so sorry) in the future. Water-based toys can be used for a more immersive experience and there’s even a chance that those with motor disabilities can be taught to play games with the controller rather than a standard one, which they may have difficulties with.
Oh and don’t worry about the whole water + electricity = dead thing, there’s only 5 volts passing though so there’s no chance of electrocution. Well not much.