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« on: December 04, 2006, 12:57:02 PM »

Anybody who has taken media saturated children on long car journeys is familiar with the challenges of keeping them entertained and here's another ingenious idea that uses GPS technology and handhelds to immerse them in an adventure based on their location and journey.

According to this article in New Scientist:


An in-car gaming system that creates an interactive game corresponding to a vehicle's real-world route could keep passengers entertained on long journeys, say Swedish computer scientists. It turns passing sights like forests, buildings and rivers into locations for in-game characters and events.

The Backseat Playground consists of a GPS receiver, a handheld computer and headphones, all connected to a laptop in the trunk of the car.

The laptop uses the GPS data to maintain a three-dimensional model that keeps the car correctly positioned within the virtual world. A database of geographical information is used to match events in the game to suitable locations. Players interact using the handheld computer.

The game begins with a radio newsflash, relayed by the handheld computer, which places a passenger at the start of a murder mystery or a werewolf thriller. As the car travels along its route, the player receives further phone calls and walkie-talkie messages from characters in the game.


Are we nearly there yet???
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