Computer Vision for Computer Games
We developed vision-based interfaces for several computer games.
These allow the player to move or gesture to affect the game, instead
of pressing buttons. The characters in the game may imitate those
motions, or respond accordingly. These interfaces allow for engaging,
exciting games. |
The system uses Mitsubishi Electric's Artificial Retina chip, a low-cost image sensor that can also perform image processing. The system was demonstrated at COMDEX in November, 1996, and it received the General Manager's Award from Headquarters R&D in Jan., 1998.
This prototype led to a business arrangement with Nintendo where they combined MELCO's Artificial Retina chip with their GameBoy handheld game. 700,000 units have been sold in Japan; they went on sale in North America in June, 1998.
Background and objectives:
Vision can be a powerful interface device for computers. There is the
potential to sense body position, head orientation, direction of gaze,
pointing commands, and gestures. Such unencumbered interaction can
make computers easier to use.
The low-cost, real-time control required for the computer game is very
challenging. Fortunately, the computer game itself makes the computer
vision task easier. The game restricts the possible visual
interpretations. For example, if the game context requires that the
player is running in place, the vision system may only need to
ascertain how fast the player runs. This is a much easier vision
problem to solve than a full 3D reconstruction of a player's unknown
motion. MELCO's low-cost Artifical Retina chip is well-suited to this
problem, since it is both a detector and a simple image processor.