Custom touch controls

Carmageddon interface
The green boxes indicate that these controls can be moved and how big their touch area is.

Today the old ‘racing’ game Carmegeddon was released as a port to Android. When it first came out in 1997 it caused worldwide controversy due to that the player is encouraged to drive over pedestrians.

Today’s free tryout of the app allowed for some nostalgic pixelated blood spatting. But it was what I found in the settings which caused me to write this post. The car is driven via five onscreen buttons (left, right, gas, brake, handbrake). Via the menu this interface can be customized by dragging around the buttons to any place that suits your needs. The nice thing is that with this it can be made to fit different sizes of hands and screens. I guess this is the touch screen equivalent of changing which keyboard keys you want to use to play the game.

The free version of the app

Buddy Cup

The 'technology' behind Budweiser's Buddy Cup
The ‘technology’ behind Budweiser’s Buddy Cup (From digitaltrends.com)

Budweiser has introduced a new concept that they will use during events: the Buddy Cup. It is a beer cup that you link to your Facebook account via the QR-code on the bottom when you enter the bar and receive the cup. Then during the event, when you toast with somebody (and your cups touch), you automatically become friends on Facebook.

The initial idea sounds fun. It is an existing meaningful gesture which now has an additional digital meaning. But have they really thought this through? What if you bump into someone by accident? Or what if a random person walks by and bumps your cup without your approval, that person can then instantly see all private information you have shared with your friends. And this means you need to keep your cup with you all evening long, instead of getting a new one with each drink as is normally the case (or is this different in America?).

To me this idea sounds like nothing more than initial idea that needs a lot more thought before it can become a real product.

Funny detail: In the movie they use the form of the Facebook time line to show the ‘history of toasting’. But their time line goes in the opposite direction as the one from Facebook (scroll down = back in time).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FdnssHlcRk