The Gadget Show – FPS Simulator

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The Gadget Show – FPS Simulator

Sam Hill

25th October 2011

Earlier in the year I mentioned the potential of computer gaming and digital interaction in the future. Recently Channel 5’s The Gadget Show combined several state-of-the-art technologies to produce one particular vision of what this future might be. The build took 6 weeks, an unreleased copy of Battlefield 3 (a nice little PR coup there) and £500,000. The end result went on to be a bit of a prolific meme, and temporarily shot C5’s armchair-consumer review staple into the tech world’s periphery.

The package included:

  • A 9m wide 360° (X-Z plane) geodesic dome with 5 HD projectors
  • A roller-driven omni-directional treadmill (one of a kind, produced by MSE Weibull)
  • 10 infra-red tracking cameras, synchronised with the players orientation by APS Events and Media
  • An (Illegally modified VCRA – Sec 36.1.b) “appBlaster” gun
  • A PC, with the platform copy of Battlefield 3
  • 12 paintball guns (which were allegedly triggered by pixel mapping software reading areas of red/ blood on the screen) automated by Robo Challenge
  • ambient lighting for peripheral vision (supplied by Extra Dimensional Technologies)
  • X-box kinect with infrared motion tracking, hacked by Running In The Halls for detecting player crouching and jumping

It looks like there might be some issue with looking and moving in the y-axis as the top of the geodesic dome is not projected onto. No doubt also there were many other issues that were deliberately overlooked, such as switching weapons, reloading, climbing ladders, etc. but it’s still a very convincing proof of concept model.