The Loh Down On Science

New technology gives video gamers freedom to roam

MIT / CSAIL

WiTrack enables games in which users move around freely in the entire home.

Hey, teenagers:  How about turning your whole house into a video game?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Oh, the inconvenience of modern video gaming.  If you want to play Wii or Kinect or the like, you have to remain perched in front of your console.

I feel tied down just thinking about it!

But don't despair.  Researchers at MIT have good news!

It's a three-dimensional tracking system that sees through walls and furniture.  Which will let you command your Call of Duty troops while getting a sandwich.  Or using the can.  Without wearing any kind of device.

The system, called WiTrack, uses one antenna to send out radio signals and three more to catch signals that bounce back.  WiTrack's computer subtracts signals from walls and furniture to track only the player. 

Right now, it can't ignore non-players in the vicinity—say, pesky sisters walking by.  But they're working on that.

Maybe one day you'll be able to play your favorites while cleaning.  Or eating dinner.  Or all those other times when you'd otherwise be interacting with family!  Oh, the horror!

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The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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