American gaming hardware start-up set to launch a full-body exoskeleton game controller.

Full body force feedback shown

ForceTek recently demonstrated the arm-controller part of the upcoming XIO system at E3.

The full XIO system (pronounced zee-oh) is planned to cover the whole body and uses “advanced exoskeleton technology to provide the player with different responses based on body position, speed of movement, and other sensed data.”

The XIO system, originally developed for medical physiotherapy, will not only measure the exact location of the player’s limbs, like Microsoft’s E3-revealed Kinect motion controller, but additionally incorporates a number of servos to provide tactile feedback and movement resistance.

The company claims that the arm unit is already an effective motion controller for games even without software support. ForceTek are also hoping for eventual developer support to enable much more interactive feedback.

The device shown at E3 was decidedly prototype looking and there are plenty of unanswered questions about eventual cost and practicality.

Yet with the XIO slated for 2011, gamers will already have had considerable experience with full body motion control so perhaps taking it to the next step won’t, by then, be entirely as farfetched as Ripley’s “loader”.

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