Biosensors which sense your stress level through skin conductivity and brainwaves, combined with [biometric] games to train you how to relax, are the latest ways to achieve Zen.
Stress causes the sweat glands to activate, changing the conductivity of your skin in a reaction known as a galvanic skin response (GSR). The PIP, held between finger and thumb, measures that response and transmits it to an Android or Apple device. Galvanic has also developed several games, including a racing game called Relax and Race, which use the PIP as a controller. Galvanic’s CTO Daragh McDonnell calls it “competitive relaxation.”
An interesting new interactive concept from Google that furthers the idea of gamification. Cycling and Tour de France enthusiasts will find this website fun and educational. Users are able to navigate stages of the 2013 Tour de France and explore the whole event. I would recommend viewing on the tablet or mobile device as the interactive experience is unwieldy on the laptop using a trackpad and some pages take time to load completely.
Game consoles have historically been their own little colony off to the side of technology. For a while that’s because they were seen mainly as an expensive kids’ toy, and later because they weren’t germane to the music sales or laptops or iPods battles of the time. Now, though, as we’re digitizing everything in our lives, that TV-connected box in the middle of every family’s living room is suddenly looking pretty important.
Google, Apple, and Microsoft want to be your one-stop digital shop. All three have a desktop OS and a mobile OS. All three are making their own hardware now. They all have stores where you can buy movies and music, and they all have their own music streaming service. They are all branching out, increasingly, into more and more parts of your life. Apple’s in your car. Google’s on your face. Microsoft is already in your living room. But their offerings are too spread out, too fragmented.
The ultimate for all of these companies, and for you, is One Device. It’ll control your music system and TV, and it will shepherd all your messages and access all of your photos and movies. It will also probably play your video games.
From a personal perspective gaming has enabled my family to share more time together. I will play Little Big Planet with my nephew on the PS3 or Scrabble with relatives and friends on the iPhone. Part of this infographic provides stats on video games as therapy. I can attest to their positive and calming effects by focusing one’s mental energy when going through difficulties.
Less than two years after DC Comics began selling digital versions of its own comics on the same day as print, the superhero publisher announced two new digital comics formats: DC2, which will feature “dynamic artwork” that unfolds as the reader taps on the screen, and DC2 Multiverse, a choose-your-own-path format that will allow users to make decisions at key points that will unlock different storylines.
Random House, the home of 50 Shades of Grey and The Da Vinci Code, has extended part of its publishing empire into the world of games with The Black Crown Project, a story-based online game based on a suitcase by first-time author Rob Sherman.
I enjoy immersive RPG, puzzle and mystery games. This project is creative and looks interesting. I think the website could use some work…some of the text is too small/fuzzy. It has the feel of the cold war…typewritten messages, gas masks, stained green backgrounds, the content decidedly weird, dreary and at times gruesome/offensive. I think this game would attract those who like the Bioshock and Metal Gear Solid series (n.b. it is a story-based game NOT a FPS game) but it’s not for me.
From the website: “The experience is free-to-play, with opportunities for eager users to make micropayments to unlock story strands, expedite the narrative and acquire items and status within the world.”
It’s hard to beat classic episodes of Sesame Street for timeless, near-universal educational appeal, but engineer and Adafruit Industries founder Limor Fried still saw an unmet need in the educational-video space. “We looked around and didn’t see an ‘Elmo for engineering’ or a kid’s show that celebrated science and engineering,” she tells Co.Design. “Every kid seems to have a cell phone or a tablet, but they know more about SpongeBob than how a LED works on the device or TV they’re watching, and we wanted to change that.” So she and her team at Adafruit created Circuit Playground, a Youtube series that combines chirpy puppets with hackery know-how via A Web Series For Kids Aims To Be The “Elmo for Engineering” | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.
“Libraries should keep an eye on the Ouya. Not only as a relatively inexpensive way to bring console games to the library, but also as an example of independent publishing squaring off against the established giants.”