Virtual gaming tech comes to real-life paintball

Credit: Innovis Labs

They say that playing video games can be useful for brain development, so it shouldn’t be surprising that gamers are taking in-game ideas and applying them to real life. After all, one of the big draws of video games is the ability do things you can’t do in real life. But how long until the line between the two is blurred for good?

If Innovis Labs has its way, that day is closer than you think. The company, which is run by 17-year-old Josh Moody, recently launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to fund the ominously named Project Overwatch. The name actually describes the project pretty well: Project Overwatch aims to add real life radar maps to games of paintball and laser tag. Anyone who’s ever played one of the Counter-Strike or Halo or Call of Duty games knows that video gaming war is made much more convenient thanks to a small map of each level. Said map indicates where other players on the field are, so you can ensure that no living thing is left moving by the end of your gaming experience.

Overwatch works the same way. Each player can attach his phone to his weapon of choice, be it a paintball, airsoft, or laser gun. This serves two purposes. First, it’ll upload that player’s location to a universal map via a simple GPS system over Wi-Fi. Second, it’ll display a map of the area with every other player’s location (provided they've uploaded and activated Overwatch as well).

Overwatch even allows players to chat with each other via Bluetooth, much like they’d be able to within the realm of video gaming. As with video games, players will also be able to "hack" the system, faking their locations and jamming radar. Additionally, if someone wanted to really act like this was a video game, he or she could chill at home and issue commands, watching everyone’s movements remotely.

The idea came to Moody when he was 15 years old. He was later accepted as one of ten startups in the ARK Challenge, where he received $20,000 and 14 weeks of training. Now, he’s looking for $50,000 to complete the project. Meanwhile, he’s teamed up with Cybergun, an airsoft gun creator, who will publicize the app. The app itself will be a free download, but those special features (like radar jamming) will be available for in-game purchase.

Check out the exciting promo video below, grab a paintball gun, and get ready for real-life Counter-Strike.

Indiegogo, via VentureBeat

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