Work out as you play with BitGym's motion-sensor technology
As great as the Kinect is, its motion sensor can only really recognize you jumping around the living room if you have a pretty large space to game in—something not everyone is blessed with. Fortunately, a new software development kit (SDK) might change all that.
Thanks to BitGym, a motion SDK for Android and iOS is now available for developers to try out. BitGym's programming kit lets app makers use the front-facing camera on smartphones and tablets as a motion-capture device, much like Microsoft's Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360. Better still: According to the company, you won't have to move all your furniture out of the room for your motions to be picked up by the software since it can pick up movement up close.
Don’t want to just play around in your home? A few of the games can keep you entertained as you work out at the gym. Rather than make you jump around, though, you can control games with small head movements and the pace of your workout so you won't look too weird to those working out around you.
The BitGym tracker can follow the motions of two people (a four-person mode is on the way), and it tracks your spine as you jump around Code-wise, the tracker uses a custom vision algorithm that doesn't hog too many system resources and requires no calibration. However it does rely on light taken in by the camera, so you'll want to make sure you are in a well-lit area for the best detection — front-facing smartphone and tablet cameras often aren't as good as rear-facing ones.
In addition to making completely new games, some developers are working on adding this technology to existing popular apps. For instance, games currently in the works include a motion-controlled version of Temple Run, and a version of the classic computer game Brick Breaker. In any case, be prepared to get worn out from jumping around so much!
If you're an app developer, you can download the SDK now. The rest of us will have to wait, though: BitGym motion and cardio games won’t be available until early 2013.