TC50: Control Any PC Game With Your iPhone With iMo

Screen shot 2009-09-12 at 11.47.20 AMOne of the cooler iPhone apps to launch last year was SGN’s iFun, which let you use your iPhone or iPod touch to control games on your computer screen. But iFun only works with SGN’s own games like iGolf. A new startup, iMo, launching today at TechCrunch50, expands the ability to all PC games.

Most PC games are still played using the mouse+keyboard combination. A lot of hardcore gamers like this experience, but more casual users prefer controllers like you find on consoles. The most popular of those out there right now is the Nintendo Wii, undoubtedly thanks to its motion-based control system. With iMo, you can bring a similar experience to all PC games thanks to the iPhone and iPod touch’s accelerometer.

Another nice thing about using the iPhone or iPod touch as your controller is that it’s much more portable than traditional PC controller hardware. If you want to play a game on your laptop on the go, for example, but don’t want to lug around a joystick, you could simply use iMo, which is on a device you’re probably already carrying around.

The system also features onscreen controls for the iPhone and iPod touch too as every PC game won’t benefit from using things like the accelerometer, obviously. This all works via both bluetooth and WiFi connections between your device and your computer.

The plan is to offer iMo in the App Store for $0.99, the first version should be available new in the App Store. And long-term, the company hopes to make it available on other mobile platforms as well including Android. And ultimately, they’d love to include support for gaming consoles as well, like the aforementioned Wii, the PS3, and the Xbox 360.

Despite a glitch at the conference that prevented iMo from doing their presentation initially, iMo easily had the most crowd-pleasing presentation of the day. Co-founder Himanshu Baweja rocked the crowd, showing off the demo set to music like “Eye Of The Tiger,” “Danger Zone,” and “In Da Club.”

Expert Panel Q&A (paraphrased)

The experts: Marissa Mayer, Roelof Botha, Marc Andreesen, Paul Graham, and Tony Hsieh.

RB: Controlling a lot of things with the iPhone is turning into big business.

TH: I imagine the whole club becoming

MA: Grand Theft TechCrunch

Q: PC games not console games, right?

HB: Yes, right now PC games only, but we’re looking at consoles.

Q: Where are you from?

HB: We are from India.

Q: How does it work?

HB: It’s an iPhone application that you run and it sends the data over WiFi to your PC. There is software that people install on their PC to accept the signals.

MM: Gutsy presentation, went off really well. Exciting to push the limits of these devices.


Other Coverage
TC50: iMo turns the iPhone into a joystick for your PC games VentureBeat.
iMo Is Great For Games, IMO#tc50 techgeist.
iMo’s iPhone App Turns your iPhone into a Joystick for PC Video Games iPhoneHacks.
iMo – the TC50 finalist from India StartupDunia.