Miss playing Hopscotch? Play the Hopscotch of the future

Fraunhofer Institute

Remember Hopscotch? If you were born in the right generation, Hopscotch was probably one of the big things you got to play during recess at school. But what if you could combine the old schoolyard game with a computer game that also involves the physical activity of Hopscotch?

Meet HOPSCOTCH. Developed by a team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Germany, HOSCOTCH takes a sensor mat with letters and numbers and combines it with a monitor that displays questions and tasks from various fields. In order to complete the tasks, all you have to do is jump from one block to another, pressing the letters and numbers in the right sequence.

If you're thinking about just tapping your foot on the squares, though, think again. HOPSCOTCH is all about physical activity, and it won't be cheated! When you play the game, you also wear a small sensor called ActiSENS on your belt. This sensor detects and records the intensity of your movements, and sends this information to the monitor via Bluetooth, so if you didn't work hard enough, it's going to be known right away.

While combining workout and computer games is not a new concept (the Kinect and Wii are, after all, pretty popular), HOPSCOTCH is unique for reviving a game we almost forgot about, and bringing it back for children and adults alike. And while not every school or institution can afford gaming consoles, HOSCOTCH will hopefully be a more affordable option, and will also give the players some extra knowledge while keeping them active.

If you happen to be in the area, the researchers will present HOPSCOTCH at the Medica 2012 trade fair in Düsseldorf from November 14-17.

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