Next-Generation Spinning Top Game Uses Table-Top Display and Tactile Feedback

Spinning tops have a long history around the world as a child’s toy, in Indonesia we called it Gasing. It is a simple toy but A Group research in University of Electro-Communications, Koike Laboratories had extend the experience of playing this toy with adding augmented reality technologies by providing visual, audio and force feedback. This toy also has an additional controller that can use by the user to control the movement of the Top. With this system, user can speed up the top by placing the handheld controller above it, and when tops hit each other, the impact is transmitted to user’s hand.

“To track several objects that are moving or spinning very fast, simultaneously in real time, conventional systems use markers and QR codes. But this system doesn’t use things like that, so the image processing load is much lighter. This enables the system to track faster objects. We think this technology could have a variety of applications.” said Toshiki Sato, Assistant Professor in University of Electro-Communications. This statement indicate the innovation that they used in this new technology by not using markers and QR codes in the image processing.

And then how does this toy work actually? Toshiki Sato explain it again “The tops contain permanent magnets, and the handheld device contains an electromagnet. The principle is the same as that of a motor, but the poles of the coil are switched very fast, without coming into contact with the top. In this way, the magnetic force makes the top spin and move at the same time.” That is the secret, the magnetic forces that can make the top spin and move at the same time.

This technology announced at Digital Contest Expo 2011 in November 2011. The strength about this new technology is that this technology provide an interactive visual display and an handheld controller that transmitted Top’s impact to the user’s hand. And the weakness I think is that there is still a lot of feature that could develop more attractively but they did not do these such as adding an animation monster just like in an Anime series Beyblade so that maybe children will interest to play this toy. The size and the looks of the handheld too is a little bit annoying because I think that it is too big and difficult to control, maybe they will fix or enhanced this handheld so it could be more comfortable to use

In the future, I think they will develop this toy more interactive by using latest technology such as 3D display, I think it will make this toy really real and attractive, and maybe it will replace traditional Top in the future. If they develop this technology for children or as a toy I think they need to think about the security but it still in a research so maybe it could develop in another kind of technologies.

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