In the lastest June issue of Illustrert Vitenskap, a Norwegian popular science magazine, you can read a pice on how new technology can keep you healty.
I’ve tried to translate some of the paragraph that cover the consoles:
“Scientists calculate that one third of European children between 5 and 18 will be overweighted in 2010, and 10% of all children will be fat.Worldwide, 287 million children is in the dangerzone. And if you are overweighted as a child, the chances are big that you will be overweighted or fat as an adult.
When it comes to computergames, the progress is going in the right direction: games that want you to move. It can be dancemats where you have to follow the rythm and pre-defined dancesteps, or karategames where sensor reads your movements and move the character on the screen according to your movements. There are cameras that you put above your TV and connect to the console. The picture of you will show up on the TV and you can interact with things that happens on the screen. An example is EyeToy for Sony’s PlayStation.
Lately, the posibility to controll a playercharacter with bodymovements have been an importent part in the compettition between the console makers, and Nintendo with it’s Wii is on the front line. The controllers have motioncensors and can be used in many ways depending on the game.
If you play tennis, you hold the controller as a tennisracket and when you play golf, you use it as a golfclub.
The Wii console is very popular, even though the graphics on the console from Microsoft and Sony is much better. The Wii is more fun because you have to move. The secret behind the success is a small accelerometer. In each controller there is a chip that make the movements into electrical signals. Accelerometers was first used with airbags in cars. And now this technology is used in handheld equipment as cellphones and the controllers of the lastest consoles.
The chip can feel movements in all three dimentions, and the controller movement and posision is transmitted to the console. And it’s up to the game developers to use this information to controll the games in fun ways.
With the help from computers, it will be more fun and challenging to get the necessary exercise.”