Interesting control mechanisms: Cars, Rockets and Choppers

Props to @infiniteunity3d for tweeting this. This is an example of using a different control mechanism to enhance a virtual experience. In this case it is slot car racing. It is built in Unity3d which once again shows the power to just be able to get on and try out the ideas rather than battle the middleware. (I am sure it had it moments though 🙂 )
Slot car racing is a very tactile experience, the friction of the pickup on the rheostat and the precision of trying to get just the right speed for a corner is the charm of slot racing. Scalextric was a big part of my childhood.

AlabSoftware have hooked the controller up to a set of slot racing cars. They did not just stick to a top down view either it is a full 3d model (as that is what Unity3d is very good at indeed).
Nearly the first thing I built in Second Life was a slot car racing system. I say nearly because other things like the tennis got in the way. My initial thoughts were to build a construction set in a world that was by its very nature a construction set. Being able to provide limited resources (track pieces) and specialized types of car etc had the makings of an economy and toolkit within the economy and toolkit.
There is a definite movement to more haptic control interfaces, none more so than the blend that has been created and released on the world at CES 2010 with the Parrot AR helicopter. A wirelessly controlled flying toy/copter that you control with your iphone and that also provides video and data feedback to you with various headsup displays and tricks. It is a form of AR, but like most AR the term gets used for all sorts of things.

Sitcking a camera on a vehicle is of course not a new thing DCJ put a wireless camera on his rocket at the launch day we had back in 2008 but the Parrot AR Drone is a very nice evolution and combination of technology and design

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