back to article Control your PC, with a lemon wedge

Gaming execs may think the future of consoles lies in unique controller designs, but one firm is trying to get PC gamers to control games with everything from plastic bottles to Windows user guide booklets. Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from Cam-Trax Technologies claims to have developed a “unique …


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  3. adnim

    Objects controlling a PC?

    I am already using objects to control my PC. One is a mouse, can you guess what the other object is?

    On another note:

    "Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from"

    Would that be the same flash player as this one?

    Dead Vulture


    I'm thinking Soul Calibur with real swords. Who needs those parental controls for turning blood off when you have the real thing.

  5. Graham Wood

    Wonder how easy it is to fool?

    Stick a screen in front of the scanner, and use a computer generated image of a baseball bat to let your computer play your game for you.

    Or, merge this with one of the concerns about vista, and if you've got 2 machines opposite each other we've got a new attack vector... Your screensaver could hack the other machine ;)

    Back in the real world, this could indeed lead to much "hilarity" at parties.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    bet the first "decent" software will be a porno! I think you know whwere this is going....

  7. Stuart

    objects ya say?

    So could you potentially control those crazy Japanese H-Games with a certain part of your anatomy?

  8. Funky Dennis

    So these guys...

    are claiming that they've solved a very hard problem in Computer Vision: tracking arbitrary objects moving in unconstrained ways in 3D through a scene imaged only by a webcam? And the segmentation problem implied by the initialisation phase?

    Notice how the example objects are all very distinctive wrt the background. How convenient.

  9. Malcolm

    Wasn't this done years ago?

    I thought this had already been done by the bloke that went on to develop the Eye-toy for the Playstation.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    No external joystick required

    Hmm... if nothing else, should lend authenticity to interactive porn.

  11. Lou Gosselin

    Prior Art

    Wow, this looks exactly like a college project of mine I did about 7 years ago for a computer vision class. I was able to use colored objects to control the cursor on the screen in real time. At the time I had a PII266mhz with a Matrox video card to capture frames at 30fps. Another effect created was holding objects in front of the camera and display them on screen as sparklers. The work and algorithms were presented in class. I remember the professor trying to discourage me from the project because it was too ambitious and thought it would fail. It wasn't as difficult as he suggested.

    Out of curiosity I tried to locate the referenced patent but didn't find it. Does anyone know anything more about it? US or Euro?

    I could probably have patented this same patent, as I did the work. However even at that time I seriously doubt that no one else had thought do what I did. It's one of the reasons I believe all software patents are evil.

  12. foo_bar_baz


    A typical El Cheapo webcam probably hasn't got high enough refresh rate or low latency for precision and responsiveness. Maybe it's acceptable for the party-gaming Wii crowd and not exactly aimed to compete with Razer mice.

    However, looks like a killer competitor to whatever the simulator nutters are currently using to track their head movements for panning and tilting.

  13. vincent himpe

    YES ! we finally can have bistromatics !

    if you don't know what bistromatics is : get out of here . you don't belong in this world. Come back when you have read the brilliant works of the too soon departed Douglas Adams.

  14. Steve
    Thumb Up


    Malcolm is right, this is just the eye-toy for PC with a little bit of linkage to make it a virtual controller.

    It also reminds me of the laser controlled virtual whiteboard/graffiti

    However I like the idea, no one else had linked the two ideas afaik.

  15. James O'Brien

    Hold on a second

    That picture, surely thats the evidence that Bush needs to show that the driver for Osama really was in an on take. I mean seriously he holding a gun in one hand and the wheel in the other surely that will hold up in court?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @vincent himpe

    Sorry them all and having serious trouble figuring out what paying the bill has to do with this???

  17. Pyros

    Pointing out something...

    Given the "gun" in that fellow's hand, I'm thinking that's a bit limited for the application in question (FFS)... so if you could wire up a simple battery-powered LED diode that flashes on when you squeeze the trigger, and the cam registers the flash or loss of "contact" as an offical input.

    Which already happens with light guns--it's an infared detector that picks up the result as it is, tho. But is it cheaper? Only if you can solder some wires together--I can make this with a joule thief design and a plastic squirt gun. :P

  18. KenBW2
    Thumb Up

    Been done

    Just hook up a wiimote to your PC

    Alright, you can't use for the aforementioned "purposes" but its still cheaper

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Light guns work the opposite way around and depend on a signal from the screen - the old NES-style ones won't work anymore as they relied on CRT screens which isn't a guarantee anymore. Same principal exists with the Wii but they've added a Sensor Bar under the TV to overcome the CRT/LCD problem (among other things), the detector is in the remote.

    Confusing, given the name Sensor Bar - it doesn't sense anything.

  20. Steven Raith


    "Sorry them all and having serious trouble figuring out what paying the bill has to do with this???"

    I think the idea is that you could track all the objects on a bistromat table, and using PDAs instead of paper notepads for the waiters, and speech recog for the artificial diners etc, you could work out a mathematical forumla to decode bistromaths and apply it in the real world.

    That's how I read it anyway.

    On topic, I think you might need buttons on the controllers to play the game properly, oh, damn, another idea foiled, eh?

    I'll get me coat - don't try to find it for me, it's not your problem, so you won't...;-)

    Steven R

  21. James Butler

    Why bother?

    I prefer to simply use brain waves ...

    "The IBVA has been acclaimed throughout the world as a superior device. From professionals to really weird people."

  22. vincent himpe

    @AC : then read them again

    the problem of paying (and splitting) the astronomical bill is a SIDE effect fo bistromatics.

    Bistromatics is a novel approach to mathematics based on new insights that, similar to the fact that time depends on people's movements through space, the value of numbers depends on people's movements through Bistros.

    numbers in this case beeing coordinates.

    Pass the pasta to move left , toss the salad over right shoulder to go to next level. kick a waiter for extra points.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want it!

    I want it now!

    Just to use my hand as a mouse.

  24. Andy Worth

    Control a game with a sock?

    Control a game with a sock?

    Err......get a sock and put a Wiimote in it?

    Control a game with a lemon wedge, etc...etc....

    Err......tape a Wiimote to it?

    Well it seems good enough for Nintendo, who release all sorts of "new" controls devices for the Wii which basically consist of a piece of plastic with a Wiimote stuck in it somewhere.

  25. Tim
    Thumb Up

    Awesome - wish it had come out sooner.

    This will make gesture recognition possible. Can I have this installed throughout my house to control all the electric switches, dials and knobs?

  26. Wize

    Think of the funny videos

    Someone forgets they have a video chat program running at the same time as playing their game and they will be another instant YouTube star.

    From the picture (can't do the vid at work) it can detect the tip of the gun, but can it tell which way its pointing? Only works if pointed straight at the camera and not at a slight angle across it.

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