[China Hi-Tech] Chinese Firms Demo Motion Controller

Nov 19, 2010
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
A ping-pong game being played by using the "i-dong" motion controlling system at the booth of Shenzhen Media Group
A ping-pong game being played by using the "i-dong" motion controlling system at the booth of Shenzhen Media Group
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The sensor unit in operation. Both ends of the unit are emitting light though it cannot be seen by the naked eye. The light is created by infrared LEDs. There is an STB under the sensor unit.
The sensor unit in operation. Both ends of the unit are emitting light though it cannot be seen by the naked eye. The light is created by infrared LEDs. There is an STB under the sensor unit.
[Click to enlarge image]
The sensor unit not in operation. It looks like Microsoft's "Kinect" motion controller.
The sensor unit not in operation. It looks like Microsoft's "Kinect" motion controller.
[Click to enlarge image]
The dedicated controller has a semi-spherical part at its end.
The dedicated controller has a semi-spherical part at its end.
[Click to enlarge image]
The ping-pong game being played by using a racket equipped with what looks like an infrared light reflector (the yellow part) at the booth of a company affiliated with Taishan Online Technology
The ping-pong game being played by using a racket equipped with what looks like an infrared light reflector (the yellow part) at the booth of a company affiliated with Taishan Online Technology
[Click to enlarge image]

Several Chinese firms exhibited motion input technologies at the China Hi-Tech Fair, which is taking place in Shenzhen, China, from Nov 16 to 21, 2010.

Especially, the "i-dong," a motion controlling system developed by Taishan Online Technology Co Ltd, was gaining attention from visitors. It can be connected to, for example, a PC and an STB (set-top box) for playing games.

The i-dong consists of a sensor unit to be used with a display and a dedicated controller to be held by the user. The sensor unit is connected to a PC or an STB via USB and powered via it.

The sensor unit is equipped with several infrared LEDs on its sides and a camera capable of detecting infrared light (IR camera) in the center. Also, an object looking like a camera is mounted on each side of the unit. Probably because of its black color, it looks like the sensor unit of Microsoft Corp's "Kinect" motion controller.

The dedicated controller has several buttons and a silver semi-spherical part at its end. The semi-spherical part is seemingly used to reflect light from the infrared LEDs of the sensor unit. The shape of the controller slightly looks like the "PlayStation Move Motion Controller," a motion controller developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCE) (See related article).

It is possible to play a TV game without the dedicated controller by using a part that looks like an infrared light reflector. For example, a ping-pong game can be played by attaching the part to a ping-pong racket.

Though the details of the motion input technologies used for the i-dong were not disclosed, motions are detected by using the IR camera, which is embedded in the center of the sensor unit, to receive the light reflected from the dedicated controller. The usage of the camera equipped on each side of the sensor unit remains unexplained, too.

At the fair, at least two companies demonstrated the i-dong. For example, Shenzhen Media Group showed a demonstration of using the i-dong as the controller of an STB. It can be used for playing games, switching channels, etc, a staffer of the group said. However, it was just a demonstration of a concept, and the group has not yet decided when to actually provide such services at this moment.

Moreover, a TV game could be played by using the i-dong at the booth of a company affiliated with Taishan Online Technology. The motion controller is already being sold in China for a price of Rmb1,480 (approx US$222.89, including the sensor device, two units of the dedicated controller, games and other parts such as the infrared light reflector).