Dance at 3D disco in your PC, thanks to Israeli tech

Extreme Reality’s interactive game brings users back to the wild 70s, letting them dance up a storm — on screen

DanceWall Remix in action (Photo credit: Courtesy)
DanceWall Remix in action (Photo credit: Courtesy)

If you miss the days of disco — or always wondered what they were like — Israeli video technology firm XTR3D (Extreme Reality) enables you and your computer to take a dance down memory lane. Disco dancing is in again, thanks to DanceWall Remix, an interactive motion controlled PC game based on the Herzliya-based company’s technology. Using nothing more than your computer’s cheap 2D webcam, DanceWall Remix creates a 3D streaming image, putting it on screen, where an avatar shadows your every move. You don’t even need a fancy 3D camera or any other equipment.

In DanceWall Remix, players control their avatar’s movements to match movements of on-screen silhouettes to the beat of music (disco, classic bubblegum, or modern electronica), avoiding obstacles and matching their avatar’s movements to the on-screen figure while avoiding obstacles. No video game experience is needed, and it works on any PC — giving users the experience of being in a very cool disco.

DanceWall Remix is one of dozens of games that use XTR3D’s platform. The company has been working in the video technology market for nearly a decade, using software to enhance the capabilities of 2D cameras and give them the powers of 3D. It’s similar to Microsoft’s Kinect, also developed in Israel, the company says — only much cheaper, because no special equipment is necessary. Most of the games, including racing, sports, adventure, and other genres, were developed by small companies using XTR3D’s SDK, although the company also works with big game makers like Sega.

Besides games, Extreme Reality makes “serious” software, like a biometric profiling system that can automatically analyze how an individual moves, based on a “skeletal map” that could indicate whether a person is up to no good. Using already installed 2D cameras, the system analyzes an individual’s motions to determine their biometric profile, creating a skeletal map of an individual that analyzes the distances between various joints of the body, and how those joints move in three dimensions.

Once that information is recorded, the system keeps an eye on the individual — and if they begin to show signs of stress that are anomalous with their previous behavior — like a change in their gait — they may be flagged as an individual authorities need to pay close attention to. The relationship between the skeletal profile and subsequent behavior is complex, and the algorithms that figure it out are protected by several patents, but the company claims that the system is over 90% accurate.

DanceWall Remix is set to become XTR3D’s biggest game ever. It’s being distributed on over 40 gaming sites, including Steam, the world’s largest online gaming platform with 35 million active users in 237 countries.

“For the first time, any PC device owner can access and interact with Extreme Reality’s newest motion controlled game, DanceWall Remix, without touching a controller or connecting to a console. This new-found freedom is dramatically changing the face of motion gaming,” said Sarit Firon, CEO of Extreme Reality. “The fact that DanceWall Remix is launching on Steam, among 40 additional online game sites, is a testament to the future of 3D full-body motion gaming.”

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