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June 13, 2014Paul Cutsinger
Today our guest blogger is Asaf Barzilay, VP of products from Extreme Reality (www.xtr3d.com). They build the Extreme Motion SDK that enables developers to incorporate motion control into their apps. They’ve also released Pandamania, a dancing game that uses this technology. In this post, Asaf talks about the importance of sound, their experience integrating the Dolby Audio API into their platform, and how easy it was to port this experience to Kindle Fire tablets.
Extreme Reality enables people to interact with computing devices through their body motion, without touch, using only a 2D camera. We are the only company to provide full-body, software-based, motion analysis and control for any computing device or operating system that supports a standard camera. The Extreme Motion SDK enables developers to create a wide range of experiences (applications, games, security solutions and more) that break the physical barriers of current hardware-based technologies. Our technology works seamlessly with nearly all consumer electronics and on most operating systems: Windows, iOS and Android.
Patented worldwide, Extreme Motion is already in use by game developers for various operating systems and devices, from AAA publishers to indie developers.
Pandamania is a dance game based on Extreme Motion SDK, which is an image-processing engine that recognizes the player’s skeleton in real time, using the device's integrated camera. The player imitates the panda dance moves, and the more accurate the imitation, the more points earned. At first, Pandamania was intended to be a simple example app to showcase accuracy, durability and potential.
The first thing we noticed about this fun, fast paced dance game is that people instantly connected with the panda; they just loved the animation and effects. The music was appealing but not a major part of the game’s allure.
Prior to Kindle Fire, Pandamania had been ported on most operating systems, such as Windows, iOS and Android. Making the game available on Kindle Fire seemed like the obvious next step as Kindle Fire is one of the 3 leading devices in the tablet category worldwide.
The implementation was simple, since Kindle Fire is an Android based device. Within two days we arranged the overall look and resolution. Then, we looked for a tool that would create a unique advantage for the game on the Amazon Appstore. We discovered Dolby Audio API, a brilliant way to enhance the music aspect of the game.
The Dolby Audio API for Android provided a significantly noticeable improvement to the background music and game sounds. As the player needs to stand ~6 feet away from the device for the camera to see his body, a good quality sound is a crucial element for a more immersive and fun experience.
We used Unity3d as the development platform for the game, as it is cross platform and easy to work with. Both APIs (Extreme Motion SDK and the Dolby Audio API) are easy to use plugins which do all the heavy-lifting behind the scenes and provide a simple external API for the game developer, allowing him to enable gesture-recognition, and different sound profile enhancements with just a few rows of code, and no need to write any native device code.
"The integration of Dolby Audio API with the Unity3d based game "Pandamania" was simple and intuitive. As this is a dancing game, the quality of the music and sounds was a very important. By using the Dolby Audio API, the quality of the sound was considerably enhanced, leading to a far better gaming experience"
- Assaf Lehr, Product Manager, Extreme Reality
“Extreme Reality’s technology is an impressive offering, bringing full arcade gameplay to the Kindle Fire HD and HDX. The impressive motion tracking capabilities of Pandamania convert the Kindle Fire HDX into an immersive game machine. By using the Dolby Audio API for Android to drive full, distinct sound to players 6 feet away, Pandamania allows users to concentrate on physical as well as the audio elements of the game.”
Andy Vaughan, Developer Relations Manager, Dolby
Thanks to Asaf and the team at Extreme Reality. They’re building some fun apps and a platform that enables some really engaging experiences.
Give it a try and see how you could enhance your apps. Let me know if you submit an app using Extreme Reality or Dolby Audio.
You can learn more about the technologies covered in this blog post in the following links: