The Intellect Motion GameCube looks like a cross between a jungle gym and an astronaut training centre and the truth is actually somewhere in the middle. Intellect Motion has created a high tech exercise gaming center for kids (and adults) to improve fitness and get young people interested in exercise. Called the GameCube (hey, the Nintendo version is now defunct) it gives you a way to immerse yourself fully in the game with their ‘Gravitation Distribution System’.
The system is designed to work in conjunction with a PC and the setup is simple- if a little elaborate. Remember those corsets of yesteryear? The Intellect Motion gaming system may be more comfortable to wear, but it will take you a while to get used to strapping it on. Once you’ve been attached to the various elasticated wires and hooks and straps, you attach the SMotion belt sensor and you’re good to go.
You get a great range of motion whilst strapped in- side lunges, flexes and jumps, and you get an almost weightless sensation as you bounce around. It’s not very dignified, but the possibilities are endless- deeper stretches in yoga poses, stress free Martial arts- almost a grown up version of the playpen!
The SMotion sensor is worn at the waist and it reads your reactions in real time to allow the gaming to respond to you- so when you jump, kick and hop it feeds the data directly and allows for improvement in co-ordination. A forward facing web connected camera tracks the LED lights in the belt and the software reconstructs body joint movements with an 1-2mm accuracy threshold and a response time of 20ms. Not only can this be used to help provide feedback on exercise but it can also be used to detect and treat medical movement disorders,
When we tested the Intellect Motion setup we tried out the Xonotic Game, a first person shooter which allowed you to scope out dangerous landscape, fire at aggressors and jump up and over bridges, boxes and people. A sideways stance is necessary to achieve the desired jumps, and when shooting to the side I was told to use my arms in a certain way- adding some helpful cardiovascular activity, and working different muscle groups. It was extremely additive to lunge and swivel during the gameplay encased in the giant spider wed of the Intellect Motion GameCube, and I hope to see what other games they’ll bring out (this is the first in their line).
The IM Gun is how you interact with the screen, and allows for extra precision when participating. It also has a real life aspect to it, as you can alter the weight of the gun- physically- to get bigger cardio benefits.
Pricewise, you’d be looking at an investment of approximately $10,000, and a shipping date later this year.