Another third-party demo app had you fly across a landscape

Enlarge / Hey you, Pikachu. Respond to my frantic flailing.

Maybe I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet, but I also have a very high miss rate. I’d say my gestures work about 50% of the time. At the very least, I can say Motion Sense is either not accurate or not very intuitive, given how many times I’ve already failed it. I feel I need to seek out more detailed instructions somewhere on how I am supposed to use it.

There isn’t a public SDK yet for Motion Sense, but there are some third-party apps that work with it through a limited partner program. It seems like this is the beginnings of an SDK for Soli—work with some select developers now and get feedback before locking down APIs in a formal SDK release.

The two apps available were quick, extremely limited demos. One featured app was Pokemon Wave Hello, where you… wave “hello” to a Pokemon? This was extremely simple: opening the app would display Pikachu and several other Pokemon on a plain background, and when you waved hello to them or did some other extremely simple gesture (many using the touch screen instead of the Soli sensor) they would respond with a simple animation. The “wave hello” gesture was, again, a big, arm-swinging gesture. Many event attendees failed the hand-wave gesture more than once. I can’t imagine ever doing the kind of big, arm flailing motion this requires in public.

Another third-party demo app had you fly across a landscape, and an air gesture left or right would make you move left or right. It’s the exact same gesture as Pokemon and skipping music.

So far, Soli reminds me a lot of “Wii Waggle,” the old penchant for bad Nintendo Wii games to use a swinging motion input in places where a button press would have been more appropriate. All of these inputs seem silly when the touchscreen is right there, and so far I haven’t seen a reason for this technology to exist. Again, I’ll have to spend more time with it, but so far I’m unconvinced.

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