By Andrew Liszewski
If this (i)Pawn app from Volumique turns out to be real, it could really change the way some games are played on the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. The game, which is supposed to be available sometime in November, uses a set of physical playing pieces, or tokens, that actually interact with the touchscreen. Now we’ve already seen iPhone-friendly styluses, so that’s nothing new, but what’s really intriguing here is how the app is able to recognize the individual playing pieces.
My original theory was that the underside of each token had a specific pattern of conductive material that the iPhone’s multitouch capabilities could detect, and the app itself would sort out which was which. But looking closely at the photos and the video below, it appears that each token is standing atop a cell-sized battery, so perhaps the iPhone’s capacitive display is capable of distinguishing different voltages? I don’t know, and the video below could very well just be an impressive ruse with a pre-animated sequence of on-screen events and some well-timed placement of the game tokens. But if it is real, it could turn the iPhone, and even better the iPad, into a virtual game board. Hasbro, are you paying attention?