CES 2015: LYTESHOT WANTS TO BRING LASER TAG TO THE FUTURE
This was originally posted on IGN’s site. Click here for the full article.
We’re a hell of a long way from the Ultrazone in Madison, Wisconsin.
As a kid who grew up looking forward to those rare birthday occasions where we’d get to pile into a minivan and take a trip to the neon-hell that was a laser-tag arena, seeing what LyteShot is doing with the sport of kings (laser tag’s the sport of kings, right?) is pretty mind-blowing.
The Chicago-based company’s aim is to take what the Wii did for active, immersive gaming and take it outside. The main device you hold in your hand is called the Lyter, which feels like a slightly sturdier version of Nintendo’s Wiimote. The other major component to LyfeShot is the Puck, which acts as the receiver that each player must wear.
At this point, it’s pretty-much on par with what you’d expect from laser tag in 2015. But this is where it goes off the rails and becomes something much more interesting.
We got our hands on a couple of peripherals, which included guns that the Lyters could be inserted into, and wands that could be attached to the end of a Lyter. That second one is important, because there’s a lot more here than just standard laser tag. The wand is part of a game called Besiege, which as you might expect, has a more fantasy approach to it. The player with the wand doesn’t fire off like a normal character. Instead, you have a series of spells that are displayed on your phone, and in order to activate a specific one, you need to gesture the wand a certain way. Once the gyrosensor picks up your correct movements, you’ll be able to fire off a spell.
A major part of LyteShot’s charm is that its developers are completely open with their software and hardware. Folks with 3D printers can create and print off their own peripherals, and those with an itch for game development can create their own gaming experiences with the tools and share them on LyteShot’s online marketplace.
But the differences between this and my late-‘90s trips to Ultrazone kept going. You can pair LyteShot up with Epson’s Moverio glasses, and suddenly you have a gaming HUD right in front of your eyes. The bottom of the glasses displayed a 360 degree map of your surroundings, and clued you in on which direction your opponent was in, and how far away they were. If I looked up while wearing the glasses, an overlay would appear that displayed the current score, time remaining, and other statistics.