Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Digital puppetry hardware, part two: The Nintendo Power Glove

Remember the Nintendo Power Glove?

The Power Glove was supposed to spark a revolution and forever change the way video games were played, but it didn't. Mostly because it sucked. It didn't work very well and when it did all it was really good for was playing a few rounds of Punch Out for novelty value, after which you'd switch back to the regular NES controller because it was better designed and easier to use.

Even though the Power Glove never really worked, it did look incredibly cool in this TV commercial. I remember seeing that when I was about 13 and immediately thinking about how cool it would be to be able to one day use something like it to perform a digital puppet like Waldo C. Graphic on The Jim Henson Hour. Lots of other more knowledgeable people saw it's potential too and it was first hacked for doing virtual reality on the PC in the early `90s. Nowadays Power Glove-like input and control devices are called data gloves and they're used for everything from creating music to performing medical procedures.

And I still think it would be cool to use something like this to control digital puppets.

To be continued...

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