Our project is built on Prospeckz embedded devices, which consist primarily of a Cypress PSoC and a ZigBee radio. Although limited in terms of processing power, the PSoC is highly suitable for embedded applications, with the Prospeckz device being designed for mesh sensor networks.
Our idea incorporates a number of buttons (for player input) and a LCD screen (to provide the UI for the game) attached to the Prospeckz devices.
With the current trends in social networking and mobile communication we decided that the Prospeckz devices, with their reduced size and application diversity, were perfectly suited to being used as a platform that allowed mobile users with a device to engage with other users nearby and engage in social activities and have social networking interaction.
For our Awesomegotchi project we chose Facebook as the social networking platform and a rock-paper-scissors game as the application.
Location awareness was also available, as we knew the locations of the base stations.
Our implementation takes the ideas used in another Prospeckz project and moves it in a different direction. 'Fizzy' was a project that used the Prospeckz devices as wearable interactive devices for children, which monitored their behavior. It is possible that our device could achieve similar things, either just by tracking the devices locations via the base stations, or more subversive monitoring with sensors, hidden under the pretext of social gaming.
The Cybiko was another device that had a similar purpose to our Awesomegotchi. It was a device that allowed gaming and communicating between users at close range. As the Cybiko was released in 2000 and social networking wasn't around, we are updating this idea but using a smaller footprint. As radio in the Cybiko had a similar range to our Awesomegotchi it shares a lot of the interactivity ideas, but the Cybiko is a very large device with a keyboard and we want our device as small as possible.
Our Awesomegotchi project - Electronic Pets with Social Networking - is a social-network aware wireless electronic game platfrom. Players are able to track the results of the game via any social networking platform, such as Facebook, and are alerted to the proximity of their friends by the game device. The devices connect to the social network platform via base stations, which provide internet connectivity and location information to the devices, so that they are be able to determine where they were when a game was played. For our implementation we demonstrate our platform using Facebook as the social network and a rock-paper-scissors as the game.