Gaming on your iOS device is about to get a lot more interactive, at least if Israeli startup Umoove has anything to say about it. Released last week, Umoove for iOS is more of a technology demo than a game, demonstrating how your iOS device can be used to track your head movements to make for a more immersive gaming experience.
Umoove works with iOS devices running iOS 5 or later; I downloaded the game on my iPhone 5s. There’s not much in the way of setup – all you have to do is make sure that your face is within fairly direct view of your device’s front-facing camera. There’s a quick calibration screen that has you move your head from side to side to make sure you’re ready to start flying.
The game begins from there, and uses a first-person perspective to show you flying through a desert terrain. You can tap your finger to the screen to fly faster, but everything else is controlled by the movement of your head. If you want to fly left, look left. And if you want to fly right, look right. The same goes for flying up or down. It’s completely intuitive, and makes for a surprisingly immersive experience.
There’s not much of a point to the game itself. You fly around collecting glowing purple bottles of mystery liquid. If you run out of it, your game ends. Even though it isn’t a particularly deep gaming experience, it’s a lot of fun. More important, though, is that it’s an innovative way to make use of the head and eye tracking technology that’s built into iOS devices.
I can easily get caught up flying around for the rest of the afternoon, but Umoove is really just showing off what’s possible here. The company provides a link to apply for the SDK used to create the app right from the main menu. I’m curious to see a serious game developer take this concept and run with it. I’m thinking a space shooter is well within the realm of possibility.
Until then, you can download Umoove for free from Apple’s App Store.