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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 16, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Video and more on TN Games and its body-shot vests

More evidence that Redmond’s TN Games is on to something with its force-feedback vests that I wrote about today: Dutch electronics giant Philips just announced a big win for its similar line of accessories adding physical effects to PC games.

Philips said Ubisoft is licensing its “amBX” technology for its upcoming Tom Clancy HAWX air fighter game coming in September.

HAWX will work with a line of Philips accessories, “including RGB LED lights capable of 16 million different colours, variable speed desktop fans capable of up to 5000 RPM and the variable rotation speed wrist rumble strip” that will “create all kinds of spectacular air combat lighting, air movement and rumble effects, taking the gameplay out of the screen and into the real world.”

It didn’t mention a vest, though, so maybe there’s still room for Ubisoft to add TN Games’ software to the game. Or maybe Philips will buy the company one of these days?

For more of the TN Games story, including some fun anecdotes and background on how founder Mark Ombrellaro used his medical knowledge to make the vests realistic, here are a few videos I took last week in his office (simultaneously testing out the new Flip Mino …)

P.S. I don’t hear about too many tech-company founders saving people’s lives, but that’s one of the responses to the TN Games story. A reader e-mailed this morning to say that from his perspective, Ombrellaro is a doctor first and entrepreneur second. An excerpt:

“In September of ’96, I was on my way to work on my motorcycle. About 150 ft. from my driveway, my neighbors dog ran out and “ambushed” me. I woke up in the hospital two months later after Dr. Mark had patched me back together as best as he could…”

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