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Turning Video Games into a Sensory Experience

Techstination feature for Thursday, November 9, 2006

Turning video games into a sensory experience. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Imagine playing a video game….and having the lighting in the room….shift when you move from indoors to outdoors….when you run from an evil creature….you feel the wind in your face. And when that creature stomps…you feel the rumble. Those are among the effects coming soon to a PC near you….and eventually to game consoles as well. The technology is called amBX, developed by Philips, which is planning to have its first amBx peripherals on the market in January. Product manager Nina Angelova…

"The amBX technology can enable any kind of external effect. You can have confetti falling on your head, you can have mist being sprayed in your room, you can have smoke. The way it works is that the software on the PC drives an external analog effect. In our case we chose to at launch select a number of effects which from consumer research made most sense. Light effects, air effects via fans, vibration effects via wristpad and you also see a built in powerful sound system."

At two to three hundred dollars for the amBX kits, the technology is likely to appeal initially to hardcore gamers. Chief business development officer Raj Thiajarajan says the sky's the limit…

"If you are a content creator and you want to throw in smell or like heat, as an experience…that's absolutely possible."

Philips plans to license the technology to other peripheral makers as well. You can find more information at Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.