Zeemote? Seriously…

June 4, 2009

In late 2006 I began working on the Gauntlet. I remember when, back then, I came to know about the upcoming Nintendo Revolution controller – nowadays known to children, adults, seniors, hardcore and casual gamers alike as the Wiimote.

I still have to accept the fact that I will never beat the Japanese to a great idea, although I get to be constantly reminded of that fact. For instance, by Ichiro Katsumoto’s Amagatana. But hey, this seriously rocks! I can say at the very least that I was happy to play with it and to say hi to the man himself. As I will hopefully be when wielding a sword in Red Steel 2 using the Wii Motion Plus, when it comes out later this year.

Amagatana by Yuichiro Katsumoto

Amagatana by Yuichiro Katsumoto

Red Steel 2 swordplay using Wii Motion Plus, via IGN

Red Steel 2 swordplay using Wii Motion Plus, via IGN

But back then I also remember getting my hands on the Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Digital Interactive Media Entertainment & Arts (DIME 06), where I found a paper from Nokia research entitled “Usability of Wireless Game Controllers in Virtual Dancer Application”.

Going up against the Japanese in what regards technology (as in many other things) is by itself nearly impossible. Now Nokia was also jumping on the wagon of motion-sensing game controllers for mobile devices. The thing is, the controllers in this paper did have motion-sensing capabilities.

I don’t know how the release of the Zeemote, which happened over a year ago, went under my radar. Worse than that, the actual Zeemote is just a Bluetooth joystick. No motion controls whatsoever. And then at the Zeemote website you get a video of two people playing on the same small smartphone screen (unintentional alliteration).

Zeemote - two players on the same phone (from Zeemote website)

Zeemote - two players on the same phone (from Zeemote website)

Oh, and the name… just say it out loud a couple of times: Zeeeeeeeemote. Geez!

I guess now I understand how something like this got under my radar. My lame filter must have been turned on all the time.

Still, I am expecting some company to pop-out a commercial motion-sensing bracer to be used with mobile devices any day now. By the looks of things, it might as well be Nokia or some partner. Probably it won’t have an RFID reader since this technology isn’t as widespread in consumer products as many would like. Yet.


One Response to “Zeemote? Seriously…”

  1. Hi Tiago,
    Wondered if you’d like a Zeemote JS1 Controller to try out for yourself. We’d be happy to send you one.

    Kind regards
    (on behalf of Zeemote)

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