A Kid's Toy that I Want: The BeamMachine

My vision of the BeamMachine

I read an article today about a system called VEIL. This is a system that transmits information via a side-channel on TV broadcasts so that television can be more interactive. It does this by imperceptible changes in the brightness of the screen that a computer vision system can pick up.

The obvious and spoken critique of this system was that it provides an incentive for people to watch more television. That's great for the corporations, but it's not so good for the kids and adults who need to be living life, not watching a fake one unfold before them. One way this is going to be used is in an attempt to grab viewers back from video games to television by merging the two.

So here's my idea instead. I want to merge video games and real-life. I want a toy that has two components, one which generates an invisible infra-red beam and the other which looks for it. When the beam is broken an alarm goes off on the receiving box. The alarm can have all kinds of sounds and or visual components. This would be a really fun toy to take outside and play capture the flag with or something. You could hide it in a critical spot so that you knew when someone was making a dash for the flag through a particular route. It would add a new dynamic to hide-and-seek or any kind of treasure hunt.

(Musings) Permanent Link made 5:18 PM | TrackBacks (0)

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