The next time you play Halo or Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you could be flexing your gameplay skills on a thin, bendable projection screen.
Code-named Cobra (PDF), that future has yet to come. But the guys at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, are working at it. Human Media Lab's Zi Ye and Hammad Khalid have developed a system that combines a wearable computer and shoulder-mounted pico projector with a flexible display fitted with flex-sensing wires and sensors.
To play, the system projects the game onto the screen, which users can flex, tap, or shake to activate an action. For instance, bending a corner back and releasing it could simulate shooting an arrow or even casting a fishing line.
Showcased recently at the Computer-Human Interaction conference in Atlanta, Cobra's developers say their invention provides the gaming power of a laptop, while giving the gamer the freedom of a handheld." We'll see. For now, it can only get more exciting for gamers in a changing world of choices that include motion control interfaces and 3D gameplay.
The developers, note, however, that a peripheral like Cobra could just as easily be used to watch movies, manipulate 3D objects, or mix audio.