One of the best known video games of all time is Tetris, the puzzle video game designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov. Released in 1984 and then ported on the IBM PC, Tetris is now available for game consoles, mobile phones, PDAs and computers and is regarded by many as one of the most popular game ever. Usually, the game is controlled with buttons for rotation and movement operations. This one is a bit different: the player uses a wireless glove to control the blocks and the movements mimic real-world motion. That’s right, it’s ‘Tetris meets Johnny Mnemonic’.
The pièce de résistance of the project, the wonder glove, is made from a rollerblading wrist guard and it has two accelerometers, one for z axis running on 5V, the other for x/y running on 3V. The glove uses averaging to execute a rotation left or right, a move left or right or a slam down and it can be used both in wireless mode or with a tethered connection.
The wireless communication is done with a Radiotronix RCT-433-AS transmitter and a Radiotronix RCR-433-RP receiver using 433 Mhz radio and a BAUD rate of 4800. Testing of the glove revealed interference problems and the wired connection feature was added to the project, so the user could switch between communication modes quite easily, with the change of one cable.
Some tradeoffs were made, involving the transmitter circuit, the accelerometers (a more accurate accelerometer means more accurate readings from the glove movements) and the amount of averaging resulting in delays between data, but the final game is playable and can be quite a challenge for the casual Tetris player. The creators of the glove however don’t have any plans on patenting their work.