A man who created a computer that uses real-world touchpads for gaming is now trying to turn it into a game console.
The gaming-focused company, known as Lenovo, says it has successfully developed a prototype that lets you move your finger around in the space between the display and your fingers and the space inside the display.
It will be available this summer for $799.
“I really wanted to take the prototype to the next level,” said the Canadian-born entrepreneur.
“What I’m working on now is a computer for the real world, not the virtual world.”
It will also have a virtual keyboard and mouse that can be used to play games like Super Mario Bros. The prototype is called the Lenovo Z-Wave controller, and it looks like an ordinary computer controller.
It’s made from a thin plastic shell with a metal back plate that slides on your wrist, and an Arduino-powered computer with an Arduino microcontroller.
The board is the size of a smartphone and uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone.
You plug in your smartphone and the board connects to your PC.
“It’s a very simple design,” said Chris McBride, founder and CEO of Lenovo.
“This is the first computer that can actually make your own games.
I can play Super Mario Kart on the Z-wave controller.”
He added that it will be the first “smart” controller that can talk to your phone.
The company is already developing a game called Z-Box, which is based on the Lenovo controller and features real-time multiplayer gaming.
“We are working on more features and we are looking at the future,” said McBride.
The first prototype was made at the company’s offices in Canada, and McBride said he plans to make it available to the public in a few weeks.
The real-life Z-Waves are actually sensors that can detect where your finger is and where your thumb is, and the ZWaves use a Bluetooth wireless network to communicate with the controller, which can be a wireless router or a wireless mouse.
“When you use the ZWave controller with the smartphone you get a real touchpad and when you use it with the tablet it works just like the smartphone,” said Doug Cresswell, a co-founder of Lenovo who is also an entrepreneur.
The touchscreen is made from plastic that’s a little bit thinner than a standard computer controller, but the back of the touchscreen is also plastic.
The controller has a battery that can last for 10 hours on a single charge, and Lenovo says it can be connected to a PC or laptop for a game.
Lenovo says the prototype will be ready for consumers by the end of the year.
“The Z-Net is a revolutionary way to interact with the world and experience the real-estate of your virtual reality experience,” said Cresswold.
“With the ZNet, you can be in your own real world and interact with people in your virtual world, and you get to experience their real world.”
For more information about Lenovo, go to www.lenovo.com.