BendTroller: Flex Your Gaming Muscle with This Twistable Game Controller

Carleton University’s Creative Interactions Lab to Unveil World’s First Flexible Game Controller at CHI 2017 conference in Denver, Colorado

OTTAWA – Researchers at Carleton University’s Creative Interactions Lab have developed the world’s first bendable game controller. The device, called Bendtroller, allows players to bend and twist the controller to guide in-game actions like jumping or rotating pieces of puzzle.

“Bendtroller offers a new way to play games more physically than button mashing,” says Audrey Girouard, associate professor in the School of Information Technology, and head of the lab.

“As the Nintendo Wii and now the Switch have shown, players are ready and eager to use innovative controllers. Bendtroller lets the player move the controller similarly to how they would move in real life, like twisting it to throw a punch. That’s really exciting and intriguing!”

The device features bend sensors to detect two bending actions and two twisting actions. It also has buttons for navigation and other actions. The controller could work with a number of current games for discrete actions like throwing an object and continuous motions such as accelerating in a racing game.

“I think it’s important to introduce new methods of input into the gaming industry in order to keep it fresh and interesting,’’ says Bendtroller developer Paden Shorey, a graduate of Carleton’s Master of Human-Computer Interaction Program. “Gaming isn’t only about software these days.

“Bending and twisting are actions we perform every day with other objects and tools, so it should be a natural transition when they are used to play video games.”

Carleton researchers will unveil Bendtroller in Denver, Colorado at the top conference on Human-Computer Interaction, ACM CHI 2017, on Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

The research for BendTroller was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Girouard was one of six distinguished Canadian scientists to be recognized for educational excellence as part of the Partners in Research National Awards in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Biomedicine.

Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dZoi0y8Lag.

Media Footage

High resolution photographs of Bendtroller are available rights-free at: http://cil.csit.carleton.ca/bendtroller/. Please credit Creative Interactions Lab.

References

Shorey, P. and Girouard, A. Bendtroller: An Exploration of In-Game Action Mappings with a Deformable Game Controller. In ACM CHI’17 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM Press, 2017.

About the Creative Interaction Lab

The Creative Interactions Lab (CIL) at Carleton University is a unique Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) laboratory exploring the next generation of user interfaces by pioneering novel interaction techniques with emerging user interfaces, input techniques and surfaces. CIL focuses on deformable user interfaces and flexible displays. CIL is directed by Audrey Girouard, associate professor at Carleton’s School of Information Technology and is composed of graduate and undergraduate students with information technology, computing, design and engineering backgrounds.

Media Contact:

Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718
613-265-6613
Steven_Reid3@Carleton.ca