Carleton University researchers get physical with new game controller

A research team from Carleton University will be showing off their new game controller at E3, the biggest North American game industry conference, next week.

Led by Information Technology professor Anthony Whitehead, the team developed the Sensory Networks for Active Play (SNAP) controller which encourages players to get physical in their game play.

Although Nintendo got the video game world excited about motion sensor-based games when it released the Wii, there was some initial disapointment that the Wii-Mote didn’t detect velocity, essentially letting gamers play baseball while reclining on the couch and lightly moving the controller rather than the much-hyped idea of standing up and taking wide swings.

The SNAP aims to fix this shortcoming.

“The SNAP system incorporates physicality as part of the input system so couch potatoes playing against Olympic athletes will both get a vigorous workout.The goal is to combine active play and multimedia to help alleviate the obesity crisis in youth,” said Whitehead in a press release.


Along with Whitehead, the project consisted of masters student Hannah Johnston and undergraduates Kaitlyn Fox, Nick Crampton and Joe Tuen.

A video of the SNAP in action can seen here.