Contactless technology in gaming industry


The use of contactless technology in the gaming industry, results in the apparition of new control systems, complementing (and sometimes completely replacing) standard game pads. They allow the users to replace their push joysticks, with control systems based on vision, voice and motion. The most well-known and universally popular game systems of such kind are Eyetoy and Kinect.

New technologies in gaming and entertainment industry is an attempt to interest the player even more, by giving him new controlling possibilities and new experiences that immerse him even more in the game. If, "advanced" control systems like lever joysticks or steering wheels already exist for a long time for a variety of auto racing and simulators, other game genres are still using standard controllers: a keyboard and a mouse or a joystick. These control elements have long been unchanged in their essence and will only improve technically through new wearproof and ergonomic materials.


Eyetoy - developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe according to the concept of Richard Marx for PlayStation 2. This compact digital camera with a built-in microphone allows in an adequately lit room perceiving and processing player movements. Yes, precisely player movements and not those of some virtual character! In the games created for Eyetoy, The player will have to manage himself; the camera with a minimum delay will digitize the image and build the game solely based on this, adding only minor details and animation elements.

Eyetoy, can be used other than for games. The camera allows taking photos, recording short video clips, and then saving them on a memory card. There is also an application that allows connecting to the Internet using Eyetoy as a web camera for video communication. The device can also be switched to hidden camera mode when it will begin taking a series of pictures as soon as it will detect movement in the active region of the room.

The creation of Eyetoy in 1999 marked the beginning of the development of many interesting game projects. Among the undisputed leaders in the industry we can list Nintendo with its console Nintendo Wii, Sony’s PlayStation 3 Move, Razer and Hydra Sixense system and Microsoft with its Kinect. Though the first three devices cannot be called contactless, the product of Microsoft fits accurately this description.


What is Kinect? It’ an add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 game console, which the developers have defined as "the controller without the controller". At the heart of it lies the same idea of ​​"direct transfer" of the player into the virtual world through the camera. More precisely, the whole system consists of a camera, two depth sensors, and four microphones with active noise reduction system. The video system lets you clearly define the player’s position in the space, his movements and facial expressions (up to four players can participate in the same game), the microphones capture the voice commands, and the software reproduces "skeletal images" of participants, based on which are drawn the screen characters that the player controls.

Currently, the project goes beyond a simple Kinect add-on to a game console; it allows you to practice regular physical training with “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved”. It should be noted that similar useful pastimes also exist for EyeToy : Kinetic set. Games became truly mobile!

In addition to the usual gaming, Kinect is also fully used by the carmaker Toyota, which employs its contactless controls in its own production processes. In some clinics, such kind of contactless controls help in working with patients undergoing rehabilitation.


There are over a dozen games for EyeToy and even more for Kinect, with new upcoming games constantly added to this list. Despite the fact that the technologies used in both devices are far from the perfection, the advantages of contactless way of controlling the gameplay are obvious. First this is novelty and attracts even those who do not usually spend much time on virtual entertainments. The multiplayer possibility is definitely a plus. This is a good occasion to gather with friends and have some fun with your family. Second, both EyeToy, and Kinect give the players a wonderful motivation for active movement. All being dependant on precision, agility and quickness of the players, the sense of involvement in the game is very high. The freedom of players is no longer limited to pressing the keypad buttons, the key to the victory being their own movements. Also seeing yourself on the screen instead of an animated game character is unusual, fun and definitely interesting, whether it’s a dance scene or virtual battle.