Want to see the technology of the future? Just watch the nerds at play. A group of engineers in Austin, Texas, has posted a series of crazy projects on YouTube demonstrating the fun in experimenting with technology. Think about this: video games you can control with your eyes or cars you can pilot using just an iPhone app. Oh yes, it can, and will, be done. The group Waterloo Labs uses existing technology to create extraordinary things. The imaginative engineers then post their geeky stunts on YouTube with instructions on how to do it yourself. “We’re phone support technicians by day and mad scientists by night,” said Hunter Smith, an applications engineer and one of four team leaders at Waterloo Labs. Smith and his buddies all work for National Instruments, so they easily have access to the company’s equipment and technology, with support from their bosses, of course.
Waterloo Labs’ latest creation is the eyeMario that allows you to play the popular Nintendo game Mario Bros with just the movements of your eyes. The way it works is through electrodes attached to your face which detect voltage changes in the skin caused by eye rotations. Crazy! This video game goes way, way beyond hand-held motion controllers by letting players make Mario jump simply by glancing up or having him jog by just looking to the right.
Naturally, Waterloo Labs company motto is “Engineering a whole lot of Awesome”. They also gained notoriety for their iPhone-controlled car. Sitting on the roof of an Oldsmobile Delta 88 that they bought for $300 on Craigslist, the engineers drove the vehicle simply by sliding their fingers on the iPhone’s touch screen. The remote-controlled car worked just like something in a Hollywood special effects scene! Who knows what’s in store next for this young group of genius’ but their main goal is to make it fun.