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Breakthrough Invention In Computer Gaming “Human Pacman” Where The City Becomes A Mixed Reality Pacman World

Vienna, Austria and Singapore - Jun 8, 2004 (PRN): First shown in the famous CHI conference in Vienna, a group of researchers from the Mixed Reality Lab of National University of Singapore has redefined the classic arcade game Pacman, into a breakthrough gaming system called “Human Pacman”. A player can now actually interactively role-play the character of Pacman or Ghost in the real life world such as the city streets. By donning a special backpack and a goggle’s, the players see virtual cookies in the streets as if by magic, and collect virtual cookies in the real world simply by walking through them. They collect real objects embedded with small Bluetooth computers that act as “power pills”. The human ghosts catch the players by patting the real human player. At the same time the exact movement of the players is tracked and wirelessly updated to the virtual 3D Pac-world which people from all around the world can see on the internet, and collaborate and help the human Pacman and Ghost players - similar to “Gods in the sky”.

Led by Dr. Adrian Cheok in the Mixed Reality Lab Singapore, the research team has combined a set of various technologies and built an entertainment system that would make the original creator of Pacman proud. The new form of gaming pioneered by Human Pacman has already received worldwide recognition. This month the leading scientific journal in this field ‘Personal and Ubiquitous Computing” published an invited academic paper on Human Pacman. In CHI 2004, (www.chi2004.org) a major international conference on Human-Computer Interaction held recently in Vienna, Austria, the team had presented a demonstration of Human Pacman and the response was overwhelming (only 16 demos were invited, from prestigious teams such as IBM TJ Watson and Media Lab, and this was the only one from Asia). At the end of the session, Mr. Ron Boring from USA’s National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) who was also the chairman for the demonstration session of the conference stood up and said, “Thank you, you have raised the bar of demos in SIGCHI”. Also, even at this early stage there has been rampant reporting on the internet, with over 300 reports on internet sites and web logs.

Human Pacman epitomizes a unique form of gaming for the future. People could be moving about, socializing, interacting with each other and most importantly, enjoying themselves with the entertainment system. It opens up a new door to future of gaming while others are still busy improving the computer or video games. In a way, Human Pacman is also a small tribute to the original game that had a big impact on gaming decades ago, which it hopes to find a similar path ultimately.

About Mixed Reality Lab, NUS

Mixed Reality Lab is a research lab in National University of Singapore led by Professor Adrian Cheok (Singapore Young Scientist of the Year 2003 and Young Professional of the Year 2004). The centre works on research covering mixed reality, human-computer interaction, wearable computers and smart spaces, fuzzy systems, embedded systems, power electronics, and multi-modal recognition. The research output has included numerous high quality academic journal papers, research prototype deliverables to DSTA, numerous demonstrations including to the President and Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, CNN / CNBC television worldwide broadcasts, and international invited new media exhibits such as Ars Electronica. More details can be found at the website at http://mixedreality.nus.edu.sg.

For more information, contact:

Adrian David Cheok
Mixed Reality Lab
NUS
Fax: +6567791103
Email: adriancheok@nus.edu.sg
Website: http://mixedreality.nus.edu.sg/research-HP-infor.htm


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