CamSpace, the innovative technology that allows gamers to use their computer cameras to play Wii-like games, has added support for Flash, making its platform accessible to a much broader range of developers (prior to today CamSpace was restricted to traditional .exe games). To get started, users will still have to download the CamSpace client here, which includes a few dozen games and will be adding more on a frequent basis (sorry Mac users, CamSpace is still Windows-only).
CamSpace’s technology revolves around detecting up to four objects in real-time, and translating their movement and rotation into in-game actions. To get started, users are asked to activate their webcams with their objects out of frame for a few seconds, then they hold them in front of the camera briefly until the system recognizes them. Any object will do, provided it is bright and has a near-uniform color (we used highlighters), and the tracking seems to work very well provided there’s adequate light.
While many Flash games probably wouldn’t work with CamSpace, some of them translate surprisingly well. For example, the classic ‘Kick-Ups’ game that involves clicking on a soccer ball with your mouse to keep it bouncing in the air is very fun and addictive – I spent far longer testing it than I needed to, and looked a little ridiculous in the process as I waved a highlighter wildly trying to get the ball to stay up.
CamSpace isn’t the first system to merge video with gameplay (I recall the PS2’s EyeToy did something similar if a little more basic, though it never really seemed to catch on). But it works surprisingly well and only takes a few minutes to install. That said, it still needs some work – the interface can be confusing, and the fact that it is still Windows-only is frustrating (though a Mac version is on the way).
Disclosure: TechCrunch Israeli Correspondent Roi Carthy is an advisor for CamSpace.