I haven’t even gotten to the Consumer Electronics show yet this week but already I’m seeing some very cool stuff being introduced. In the mix of online music stores, new headphones, GPS systems, yet more MP3 players and more, there’s a very weird and incredibly cool new device that Philips Electronics is introducing called the Entertaible.
How on earth they came up with this name is baffling to me – it’s terrible – but they’ve been working on this for a while at the Philips research labs in Denmark. In fact, they have a Web site for the Entertaible where you can learn more, but let me quote from their press release instead…
“The Entertaible concept is a tabletop gaming platform that marries traditional multi-player board and computer games in a uniquely simple and intuitive way. Entertaible comprises a 30-inch horizontal LCD, sophisticated touch screen-based multi-object position detection, and all supporting control electronics.”
“It allows the players to engage in a new class of electronic games which combines the features of computer gaming, such as dynamic playing fields and gaming levels, with the social interaction and tangible playing pieces, such as pawns and dies, of traditional board games.”
This just brings me right back to my years working at HP Labs, where we too built products years (if not decades) ahead of their time.
Let me show you a picture so you can see why this Entertaible is so darn cool:
More from Philips:
“Philips aims to encourage partnerships and collaboration with games vendors that plan to add new capabilities to their games. Entertaible provides the ideal electronic platform for these companies. �Entertaible offers the means to reinvigorate established board game classics,� comments Gerard Hollemans of Philips Research in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, who leads the research team that developed Entertaible. �However, in the longer term, Entertaible could be used to invent brand new games offering unprecedented levels of user interaction � games that would never become predictable or ever quite �feel� the same twice, however often you played them.�
Maybe it’s just me, but this is one of the first truly cool uses of touchscreens that I’ve seen in a very long time. They’re probably incredibly expensive as they’re more or less still prototypes, but… I want one!
Cnogratulations, Philips, on introducing such a true innovation in a show awash in me-too products and tiny, incremental improvements in products.