Off the Sofa and onto the Racetrack with GPS

ITRI to award the best gaming concept with €20,000
(PresseBox) (Oberpfaffenhofen, ) As part of the 2008 European Satellite Navigation Competition, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan is sponsoring a special topic prize for the most innovative gaming concept that promises to get couch potatoes out on the street – or perhaps bring the street into the living room! As a past example, the “real-time racing” system developed by the company iOpener – winner of the Dutch regional prize in 2006 and recent recipient of €4.1 million in venture capital – enables players to go head-to-head with actual Formula 1 drivers in real time.

These days, one can scarcely imagine transportation without GPS, and mobile phones with integrated GPS chips are in the process of revolutionising mobile navigation. However, the opportunities presented by these developments go far beyond providing directions and real-time traffic reports. According to a current study by Juniper Research, mobile gaming is projected to reach a market volume of $16 billion by the year 2012. Along with the highly accurate positioning and precise time signals offered by satellite navigation, the gaming world is set to enter unprecedented dimensions that blur the line between the real and virtual.

Turning the mobile phone into an outdoor gaming console

The market researchers from Strategy Analytics expect the global share of mobile phones in the navigation device segment to exceed 40 per cent by the year 2014. For GNSS gamers, this means their mobile phones are set to become a kind of outdoor gaming console. Whether it’s football, golf, or Scotland Yard, satellite navigation can add new facets to virtually any game. The special topic prize sponsored by the ITRI will award the best GPS gaming concept – regardless of genre, platform, or number of possible players – based on originality, feasibility, and market potential. The winner can look forward to €20,000 and a trip to Taiwan.

Innovators from all over the world can submit their ideas until 31st July at The Dutch winner from 2006, Andy Lürling of iOpener, has already set the ESNC’s bar quite high for GPS gaming. It will be exciting to see what kind of ideas the ITRI’s special prize brings forth in the coming three months.


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