A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences


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TheO 1TheO is a set of apps usable with a specialty made foam ball. In order to use TheO, users place a smart device in the ball. The ball then supports various games and activities played by rolling or throwing it.

TheO is a custom made foam ball combined with dedicated mobile apps that facilitate various physical games and activities. TheO ball can be safely rolled, tossed and bounced, with the smart device protected safely and securely inside, while players physically interact with each other.

Harnessing the various sensors and features current smart phones support, TheO apps turn the simple foam ball into a “smart ball” capable of various sorts of mobile play. The initial apps include a Bowling game where players can play each other in the same room, displayed on the smart phone, or any IP-enabled device, or with friends across the web. Additional custom apps include a physically active Hot Potato game and a socially interactive game called Interrogo. Besides taking advantage of the smart device features such as acceleration sensing, direction and motion sensing, the apps harness sound and also Bluetooth capabilities, allowing TheO to link with additional accessories.


Author: Heikki Tyni

Heikki Tyni is a researcher at Tampere University Game Research Lab. His work concentrates on the game industry, and specifically on game production studies.

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