A Gyroscope Game Input Control

I’ve been playing with a gyroscope lately as a game input control element for MobZombies. The challenge is to come up with a less cumbersome sensor rig, and less expensive. The sensor will need to communicate with a mobile phone because no one’s going to buy a $2000 tablet pc to play a game. The sensor should also be able to capture forward and backward motion.

The IDG300 gyroscope seemed decent, albeit “expensive” in the context of trying to make an under $100 sensor rig. But, you know..modern times and all.

I ran a few tests to see how well it captured tight and wide turns. I think it will require lots of moving average calculations. The graphs below are 20 sample averages which have also had a 16 point moving average calculation applied to them to smooth out the rough bits.

Tight left turn, basically a slow Whirling Dervish

Forward several steps, turn left, forward several steps, turn right

So, with lots of smoothing, the data looks clean enough to be able to translate turning motion into the equivalent of pressing the “A” or “D” keys to turn your guy left or right. An accelerometer will take care of forward or backward translational movement, I’m pretty sure.

The goal here really is to get to a point of capturing enough embodied movement sufficiently to use physical action as direct input into a game. This is different from the “offline gaming” idea, and closer to the “whoosh” style input.

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