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This Add-On Could Turn Your iDevice's Camera Into A Joystick

This Add-On Could Turn Your iDevice's Camera Into A Joystick

March 30, 2012
Mobile gaming is as popular as ever. With hundreds of millions of iOS users out, its safe to assume that the majority of them have downloaded at least one game from the App Store. The great thing about iOS gaming is that the available games can cater to both casual and hardcore gamers alike. For those more serious about iOS gaming, accessories like the iCade or Fling Joystick can be used to provide some tactile feedback and make the experience more console-like. Aside from those options, iOS gamers are left with their thumbs, which of course will block their screens and potentially hinder gameplay. Fortunately, some bright minds at Kelo University are developing a peripheral that will use your smartphone's camera as a three-axis joystick, which works by using your phone's camera to detect movement of markings inside the peripheral.

Kelo University's Assistant Professor, Yasutoshi Makino states:
There are small markers in this elastic device and the markers are detected by this built-in front-facing mobile phone camera. By tracking how the markers move as the elastic device deforms, this system enables a variety of inputs. Basically, the system's precision depends on hardware factors, like the camera resolution and refresh rate.
This add-on looks very, very crude, but it's still in development, so maybe the finished product will look more polished. I see some potential for this type of accessory, but most iOS games require using both hands to play. Even with the add-on, you'll still be touching your screen with your other hand, which essentially ruins the purpose of the joystick. I can play games fine without having to stick something on my iPhone, but what about you? Do your own fingers hinder your iOS gaming abilities?  

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