Squeezable controller produces Avatar type experience for gamers

A new squeezable 3D game controlling device has been developed by UK design and development firm Cambridge Consultants to produce a sensitive control experience for gamers and others who require 3D interaction with computers.

The ‘Suma’ sensor system translates the three dimensional deformation of a squeezed object into a software-readable form thus enabling highly sensitive control by finger movements and whole-hand grip.

The company claims that Suma-based devices can capture far more of the degrees of freedom of the hand than conventional controller technologies, without the need for existing glove type sensors. 

A Suma-based device is like a traditional gaming controller with the normal casework replaced by a skin comprising of sensor network which costs less than a dollar to manufacture.

Cambridge Consultants hope that a variety of products and applications - from gaming and design to music and creative arts – will be developed by consumer tech companies using the new interactive technology.

“One of our earliest instincts as babies is to grip and grasp, and about a quarter of the motor cortex of the human brain is devoted to the muscles of the hand,” explains Duncan Smith, head of consumer product development at Cambridge Consultants.

“Emerging trends like 3D displays and augmented reality are bound to stimulate interest in Suma’s unique capabilities, where the emergence of next generation applications is limited only by the lack of suitable input devices.  But it’s also just as relevant and exciting for existing 2D applications and web-based services, where squeeze-to-click can now become squeeze-to-control,” added Smith.

The company will be demonstrating a prototype gaming-controller based on the new squeezable Suma technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from 7-10 January 2010.

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