Orange goes all shaky as it attempts to make mobile content more exciting
25 January 2006
If you think that playing games on your mobile is a little flat, then Oranges latest offering in the nascent world of mobile games will literally have your fingers tingling. The fruity operator has become the first in Europe to offer vibro-tactile sensations to the sight and sound cues on mobile games with the explicit aim of making mobile content, well, more touchy feely in an attempt to attract more users.
The key to the service is Immersion Corps. VibeTonz system which offers users a mobile entertainment and communication experience that is both more personalised and more immersive. By engaging users' sense of touch, the System brings powerful improvements to mobile gaming, ringtones, and the user interface, says the company.
Initally the vibro-fun will be available on the Samsung E770 handset and on mobile games in the UK, but eventually Orange wants to offer vibrational joy with everything from ringtones to TV.
"We design our products to engage people on an emotional level, as well as provide them with new ways to communicate and interact," says Matthew Kirk, director of devices, Orange. "Orange has worked with Immersion so that its customers can be the first in the UK to experience downloadable games with Immersion's VibeTonz effects. We specified VibeTonz technology to make gaming, entertainment, and user interface features more personal and fun."
Several leading mobile game developers, including Superscape, I-play, and Indiagames, are planning to release games with VibeTonz effects. Subscribers will be able to purchase this content on Orange's multimedia services website, Orange World.
Superscape recently signed an agreement with Immersion for use of VibeTonz technology in their downloadable games for the Samsung E770. "Touch sensations in mobile games can add the type of value found in PC and console games and will definitely be included in our continuously expanding portfolio of innovative mobile games," said Kevin Roberts, CEO, Superscape Group plc.
Indiagames and I-play, who have used the VibeTonz System in games for other phones, also are licensed to incorporate it into downloadable games for the Samsung E770.
"Indiagames has been in the forefront of adopting the latest technologies and we believe that the VibeTonz System will help bring about greater sensory involvement and enhance user experience," said Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO, Indiagames. "We think our VibeTonz-enabled games for the Samsung E770 will be a hit in Europe."
"The VibeTonz System adds a whole new level of fun and excitement during the mobile game experience and increases the possibilities for what mobile games can be," said David Gosen, acting CEO, I-play. "We find the VibeTonz System very easy to implement and are targeting to initially add several more VibeTonz-enabled games to our catalogue of fun, high-quality mobile games."
VibeTonz-enabled games embedded in the Samsung E770 include:
Airship Racing from eFusion
Bobby Carrot from eFusion
Arch Angel from Wait4U
Freekick Festival from Zio Interactive.
"We added VibeTonz effects to Airship Racing, a hot-air balloon game where you can now feel the jolt of lightning bolts and the thud of dropping rocks," says Michael Lim, director of marketing, eFusion. "And we also added VibeTonz effects to Bobby Carrot, a maze game in which you now feel effects with the introductory music and each time you collect an object or complete a level. The two games are for very different demographics, yet the VibeTonz System adds a great deal of fun for both."
The 15 embedded VibeTonz-enabled ringtones can be used for caller identification. When set, the distinct vibration pattern in each ringtone can let users know who is calling even in noisy environments or when the sound is turned off in Quiet mode.
The phone also includes options for using VibeTonz touch sensations to accompany power on/off, opening and closing the flip phone, and to signal incoming messages including text, e-mail, multimedia, and broadcast.