Wearables perfect for gamers: from a Minecraft add-on to a VR headset
As we recently proved in our piece on
wearable tech that can help musicians crack out sweet tunes
, this sphere of tech isn’t just about smart timepieces you can read your text messages on.
Ifyou’re a diehard gamer, you’ll be happy to learn that wearable techdoesn’t stop at the door of the music world. It’s very much alive in thegaming arena as well and has the potential to improve your relationshipwith that very important console in your life.
From wristbandsthat allow you to play Minecraft on any computer to armbands aimed atmaking the gaming experience more tactile and immersive, thepossibilities truly are endless. And as a gamer, you ought to beexcited.
Here’s our pick of the most exciting and innovative gaming wearables out there.
Best PS4 games
Asa keen gamer, you no doubt love it when you feel so immersed in a gamethat you may just actually be in it. And this is something
, a smartarmband developed by Thalmic Labs, aims to help you achieve – by lettingyou control actions with gestures.
The band sports eightmodules with sensors built in. These read electrical activity in yourmuscles and arms, including fist clenching, armwaving and finger movement. These movements allow you to control gamessuch as Audiosurf and Minecraft wirelessly.
What’sgreat is the fact that the band weighs only 3 ounces, despite packingin so much technology. And then you consider the precision here. Forexample, with a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer, itcan measure speed and direction of arm movement.
Sound,too, is important when it comes to feeling immersed in a game, but thebest gaming headphones out there aren’t always the top option. Theygive you top-notch sound quality, yes. However, feeling the noise is better.
This is where the SubPac enters the mix. It’s abackpack sporting patent-pending tactile audio technology that deliverslow frequencies to your body so you get the best sound experiencepossible. And by connecting it to your favourite games, you’reable to feel the places you’re in.
Apart from giving you animmersive gaming experience, there are some other benefits here as well.Firstly, because the pack doesn’t go anywhere near your ears, it’llprotect your hearing, and you’re actually saving loads of money. Toachieve this sort of experience without the pack, you’d have to buy amassive subwoofer and soundproof your home.
Currently,you can get it in two versions. The SubPack S2 (which costs £298) isseat-based, while the M2 (at $379 in the US) has actual straps so can beused being used on the go.
Vuzix iWear 720
Ifevery gamer could have a 70-plus-inch television in their lives, thingswould be amazing. But that’s obviously not the case in reality, asclearly, you’d need a very big pad and an even larger wallet.
Well,dear gamer, this is when the Vuzix iWear 720 comes in handy. It’saccurately being described as a pair of “video headphones”, packing dual1280 x 720 displays that provide the equivalent experience of a130-inch home television. In addition, it comes with noise-isolating40mm drivers, so you get an all-round quality experience.
Youcan connect it up to a smartphone, a tablet PC, a games console or a PCvia HDMI to access existing VR games, apps and movies. It’ll last up to30 hours, and when it runs out, you can recharge it with amicro-USB cable. You can preorder the iWear 720 for £405, with it expected toship by the end of 2015.
Gaming-basedwearable tech isn’t just for adults, as the LeapBand from kidseducational entertainment company Leapfrog proves. It’s an activitytracker that tries to get youngsters from behind their games consolesand out into the outdoors to do some exercise.
Aimedspecifically at children aged between 4-7, the the band comes kitted outwith 20 games and challenges – with 40 more available todownload for free. Essentially, the aim is to make exercise fun as wellas challenging.
For example, kids can befriend a customisablepet pal and treat it with rewards by exercising. If they get lazy, thetracker will know and the pet will go without. And we wouldn’t wantthat, now, would we?
It also comes with a school and nighttimemode so it just functions as a digital watch, as well as a built-inaccelerometer, high-resolution colour screen, rechargeable battery, awater-resistant design and an iOS/Android app for kids to compete inmini games. It’s available in green, pink, orange and blue for £29.99.
Sinceits alpha release in 2009 and public release in 2011, Minecraft hasgrown into a global phenomenon. Whether or not you play the gameyourself, you’ve more than likely heard of it or know someone who playsit.
So far, 70 million copies have been sold all across theworld, so it’s clearly popular. If you do happen to play Minecraft andare a huge fan, you’ll definitely fall in love with Gameband+Minecraft.It’s a wristband that allows you to play the game on any computer.
Usingthe band couldn’t be any easier. You simply plug it into the USB portof a Windows, Mac or Linux computer and open up the Gameband app. Then,you’ll be able to get straight into the action of creating things. Andbecause the band works with the cloud, your creations are always saved,and with a USB3.0 MLC memory chip, it won’t lag. It costs £64.99.