Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show brings the latest and greatest technical innovations together under one roof. In some cases, the products shown are far-off concept demonstrations, designed to help us invision what our lives might be like using that type of product in the future, and others are things that will be on store shelves in a matter of weeks. Regardless of the timing, CES always gets us excited for what's to come, whether it be right around the corner or tens of years in the making.
While we're still waiting on flying cars and a food replicator that will make you a hamburger out of nothing, there were still a lot of very impressive gadgets showcased at CES 2012. While most of these were aimed at improving the household or enhancing entertainment offerings, it got us thinking about what would happen if they were applied to the world of gaming. Below, we've compiled a list of CES 2012 innovations which, if utilized correctly, could change the gaming industry in the future.
Echo Nest Teams With Twitter
What It Is: Echo Nest is the company behind the popular music app Spotify. They've teamed up with Twitter in order to integrate tweets into music apps. For example, if you were listening to The Decemberists, you might get tweets from lead signer Colin Meloy.
What it could mean for gaming: Imagine that while you're downloading the latest Gears of War map pack, you're seeing tweets from famed Epic developer Cliff Bleszinski, or even other game devs who are tweeting about Gears. Sony and Microsoft seem keen on cramming Twitter in wherever they can, and this is just about the most useful application of the service we can think of. It's targeted, relevant, and actually helpful, all things that Twitter is generally not known for. See? We're already making strides towards a utopia!
Sony HDR PJ760
What it is: A camcorder with a built-in projector.
What it could mean for gaming: Just what does a camcorder have to do with gaming? Well, if you think about it, Kinect is just a very elaborate and sophisticated camcorder. If Microsoft wants to push the "immersive" elements of motion gaming, adding a projector to Kinect would be a perfect way to take it to the next level. With a projector on board, Kinect would have the ability to make your actual surroundings look more like the in-game environment. Even though they would just be made of light, having your living room actually look like a dance club while playing Dance Central 2 would be pretty sweet. Maybe that wasn't the most hardcore example, but you get it.
What it is: SmartGoggles from Sensics is an augmented reality helmet that overlays video or other multimedia on the real world around you.
What it could mean for gaming: Look, I remember the Virtual Boy for Nintendo. I didn't own one, but there was a display model at my local Blockbuster (yeah, people used to have to leave the house to rent movies) and every time my mom and I went there, I would insist on a game of crappy red and black tennis. I think I wear these thick-ass glasses because of it, but that's beside the point. For a very very long time, the gaming industry has been trying to some how bring true stereoscopic 3D to the home consumer, but the tech has never quite gotten there. With innovations like SmartGoggles, we're closer than ever to being able to strap on a fancy hat and instantly be transported into a different world. One that our brain believes is actually unraveling before us. Sensics is a company that normally works on military grade simulations, so you know that they're dealing with some sick s*&t. Now, if only we can get one of the big three to buy in so we can enjoy it too.
BitTorrent on Your TV
What it is: This is an actual app -- yes, it exists -- that allows you to access all of your torrented content on your TV, like it was coming from Netflix or some other "legitimate" service.
What it could mean for gaming: Do you live in the United States? Then LOL JK ROFLCOPTER. There's no way this is ever going to happen.
LG Smart Fridge
What it is: Are you ready for a real Jetsons-esque joint? The LG Smart Fridge will tell you what to cook based on what is inside of it. Yes, that's right. You scan in the food you buy with your phone, and then your phone talks to your fridge, and then when you whine about how you don't know what you want for dinner, your fridge will swoop in and save the day by suggesting all the recipes you'd be able to make with the ingredients you have. WE ARE LIVING IN THE GOSH DARN FUTURE!
What it could mean for gaming: You're probably assuming that I'm going to make a Mountain Dew joke here, but I am a master of surprises. This has nothing to do with the green nectar of the gaming gods. In fact, this idea has everything to do with inventory control. Wouldn't it be neat if you could scan your entire videogame collection with your phone, and share it with your friends? Then, when someone you had on your friends list was playing a game that you had in your collection it would alert you by text message and/or phone call? Yeah, that'd be pretty baller. Then you could ask your Smart Fridge what to make for dinner and it would answer, "Mountain Dew Soup." Delicious.
What innovations from CES would you like to see incorporated into gaming?