Philips aims to add new level of gaming immersion

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philips-ambx.jpgMost games intend to bring the player into a virtual environment, but Philips is taking the opposite approach by bringing the in-game experience into the real, corporeal world. The Philips amBX system aims to achieve that by letting you feel the lighting within a game, thanks to a rather low tech solution. The amBX system will envelope your room in the corresponding light depending on where you are in the game. I suppose this concept will work well when you’ve holed yourself up in a small, dark room without any lights on.

For example, assuming you’re somewhere in the outdoors where the sun is setting. The amBX system will detect this environment in the game (we’re not sure how it does that, probably a little bit of voodoo magic and some magic potion) and display an appropriate level of soft, orange light to simulate the outdoor situation. It is not all about lighting though, as the amBX system comes with a quartet of mini fans that will blow air at you in the corresponding direction whenever it is required of the game.

Imagine playing those dark thrillers such as Doom or Resident Evil, where the poorly lighted rooms and monsters that literally breathe down your neck will provide more than a fair share of scary moments. Unfortunately, this idea has been present in current technologies for quite some time now without much success. Perhaps multi-sensory enhancements do not really appeal to the gamer, as the ultimate way of catching the gamer’s attention would be solid gameplay and a gripping storyline. The rest are just icing on the cake and not the essence. The Philips amBX system might end up in stores by Christmas, but there is no official confirmation yet.

Source: SCI-FI Tech

One review or comment

Lightsaber Says: October 17, 2006 at 6:35 am

Actually, ambient light and special effects for while watching TV, playing games, or surfing the web, has existed for a while now.

There is a company at The Netherlands who developed hardware, software and free SDK, with:

– fully tweakable screen analysis engine
– manual selection of ambient colors
– preset color waves
– color landscapes for while working with mouse
– visual alerts for email and other events
– empathic text to color translator for while typing anywhere under Windows
– support for special effects devices (eg. Air, Smoke, Strobe, Fog, Heat, Rumble, etc.)

Find them at http://www.a-r-e.nl

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