Richard Marks

Sony Computer Entertainment America

User Interfaces in Interactive Entertainment
29 minutes, 13.7mb, recorded 2004-11-07
Richard Marks
An interface revolution is coming for computer entertainment. Though graphics have improved tremendously in recent years, interfaces have improved very little. Interactivity is the defining characteristic that separates gaming from other media, and this is the area that will advance the most in the next few years.

Computer entertainment is a technology-driven industry, and there are many new interface technologies ready for harvest. These technologies will accomplish two primary goals: 1) improve the interactive experience, and 2) make the experience more accessible via intuitive interfaces. Just as graphical advancement has done recently, new interface technologies will continue to grow the industry and increase the audience for computer entertainment.

Sony's Richard Marks describes the entertainment interface technologies that are the most interesting now, and gives some insights on how these technologies will move forward over the next several years. He demonstrates several EyeToy tech-demos for PlayStation2 that show how new interfaces can enable new gameplay ideas. He also talks about tech-transfer and gives a quick overview of how the Sony EyeToy went from a one-person research project to a global product with over 4 million units shipped.

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Richard Marks was an Avionics major at MIT before getting his PhD at Stanford in the area of visual sensing for underwater robotics. He then joined Teleos Research, a computer vision start-up later acquired by Autodesk. He departed and consulted for a year, before the unveiling of the PlayStation2 hardware inspired him to join PlayStation R&D. His research focus has been studying real-time video input to the PS2, and he now manages R&D Special Projects, which includes Man-Machine Interfaces and Physical Simulation.

One of Marks's recent creations is the EyeToy. EyeToy: Play has been a strong commercial success, selling over 4 million copies worldwide since it launched last year. For Sony's upcoming PlayStation platforms, his lab is working on even more direct interaction as well as new natural interfaces.


This presentation was recorded at Accelerating Change 2004, November 5-7, 2004. Check here for the complete Accelerating Change archives.

This free podcast is from our Accelerating Change series.