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This article is from the Electronic and Computer Music FAQ, by Craig Latta Craig.Latta@NetJam.ORG with numerous contributions by others. Which glove interfaces with the Max 'glove' object? (Electronic and Computer Music)

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 92 16:03:49 CST
From: James McCartney <james@astro.as.utexas.EDU>
To: max@dcs.edinburgh.ac.uk
Subject: power glove

The glove object uses the Gold Brick ADB interface from
Transfinite Systems. (617) 969-9570 The cost is $169 for a user system
or $245 for the developer model which provides LEDs for monitoring ADB
activity and other stuff.

More about the powerGlove...

Date: Wed, 01 Sep 1993 08:08:51 -0500 (EST) From: SHRINER@Butler.EDU
Subject: Re: From netjam-max: Nintendo Power Glove. Can it still be got?

I got my powerglove -manual and all- for $50.00 from Fringeware.
Here's the info. Tell Paco Charles from Mr. Presto says hello.
I'm also including some info concerning interfaces.

charles shriner                             Music Composition
ccps@mindvox.phantom.com                            &
VOX:317.254.0739                           Sound Design Studio
FAX:317.283.9930 ATT Woodruff                  Indpls., IN

FringeWare Inc.
PO Box 49921
Austin, TX 78765

Attention : Paco Xander Nathan
........a company called Transfinite Systems (TS) has introduced a
little ADB device called Gold Brick, which provides
translations between a Mac or Apple IIgs and various
Nintendo-compatible controller devices. (Luckily, Transfinite
Systems sent us the Gold Brick manual, because the concept of a
controller interface is not one that is inherently obvious.) Nintendo-controller compatibility is an interesting ability,
because some Nintendo games support 2D and 3D motion using a
number of different controllers............I haven't seen any of
these devices, but Gold Brick can translate controller input
from the Broderbund UForce, the Nintendo Power Pad, the
Enteractive Roll&Rocker and the Mattel Power Glove. (Game
companies are very serious about trademarks, as you can tell.) Of these, the only one I know anything about is the Power
Glove, because it is a commercial version of the Data Glove
used in the virtual reality experiments. With the Data Glove
(or presumably the Power Glove), you can move virtual objects
around in a virtual space (viewed through a head-mounted
display system).

Transfinite Systems has chosen an interesting method of
marketing Gold Brick. By designing it to work with inexpensive
and commercially available controllers, Transfinite is using an
existing market to create a potentially new one. The first
applications of Gold Brick will no doubt be ports of Nintendo
games or even communications between the game deck and the Mac
through Gold Brick. However, after some games have broken the
ground, we expect that drivers for the 3D graphics applications
like Swivel 3D and Super 3D will be written. Rotating a 3D
solid with a Power Glove should be a lot easier than doing the
same thing with the mouse. After that, our imagination is the
limit for new methods of controlling virtual objects. Gold
Brick's sub-title is "The Cyberspace Interface," which hints at
the cyberspace environment of William Gibson's "Neuromancer"
and "Mona Lisa Overdrive." For standard applications of today,
though, the user can specify 2D motions or keystrokes for the
Gold Brick translations, allowing people to explore and design
alternate forms of interface manipulators. One way or another,
Gold Brick sounds like it might help introduce the next
generation of controllers.

Transfinite Systems * 617-969-9570


Way back when in September of 1990 (i.e. the good old days :-)),
I wrote about a controller interface device called the Gold
Brick. The Gold Brick is an interesting idea - it acts as an
interface between the Mac's ADB and a variety of 2-D and 3-D
controllers made for Nintendo games. Back then, the Gold Brick
was relative vapor, but it now appears that Transfinite Systems
is shipping an upgraded version of the Gold Brick along with a
cheaper interface for users, called the Nugget. The Gold Brick
sells for $245 and the Nugget for $169, and although you could
buy the Nintendo controllers from the company, they encourage
users to look for cheaper prices in toy and electronics stores.

The main upgrade to the Gold Brick is the ability to accept more
in the way of 3-D input, so the device can now accept 3-D
forward and backward signals, as well as roll controls.
Needless to say, such ability greatly increases the
controller's utility for interactive use with simulated 3-D
objects. The other upgrade to the Gold Brick is the ability to
work with the Nintendo Power Pad, which I've never seen, but
which I gather is kind of like a game of Twister with
electronic sensors built in. Such a device would be extremely
useful for architects and engineers working with programs like
Virtus WalkThrough, although you might need a lot of processing
power to take advantage of the combination. The main Nintendo
device that I would like to try with the Gold Brick is the
Power Glove. It's a slightly scaled down version of the glove
used by the virtual reality people, but is definitely a step in
the right direction as far as computer controls go. I suspect
that it wouldn't even be all that hard to combine the Power
Glove technology with the Infogrip's chord keyboard technology
so you could type on a virtual keyboard. I suppose that would
produce a whole slew of hypochondriacs complaining of virtual
repetitive strain injuries. :-)
As much as the Gold Brick is impressive, Vivid Effects of
Toronto has an even better idea. In Mandala, they've made the
controller itself virtual by using a video camera attached to
an Amiga and some custom hardware. The camera films you and can
insert you into an animation from a paint program or into a
laserdisc, at which point you can interact with the other
entities in the reality to the extent the software allows.
Currently, Vivid Effects has two versions, a high-end version
that interfaces with a laserdisc and a low-end version that
only requires a video camera and a digitizing board and is much
cheaper, but can't work with the laserdisc.

Using the virtual controller gives Mandala a number of
advantages over current controller schemes. You don't have to
wear goggles or a body suit or a glove or anything like that,
and other people can join in the same reality with ease. In
addition, the Mandala technology makes it easier to mix virtual
controls with real ones, if for instance, you were in a cockpit
simulation. Vivid Effects said that Mandala is quite popular,
especially with science museums and the like because they could
set up a virtual reality and let lots of visitors play with it.
They expect a significant increase in popularity when they port
the hardware to the Mac and the PC, since the Amiga, for all
its features, is still a fairly limited market.

Transfinite Systems * 617/969-9570
Vivid Effects * 416/340-9290


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