Andy W. Lürling
i OPENER, a young dynamic organisation headquartered in the Netherlands, is shaping up to be a leader in interactive concepts. Focussing on creating an optimal user/consumer experience, the organisation brings together a team of seasoned professionals with backgrounds in television, Internet and telecommunications.
The organisation’s initial product offering is aimed at the rapidly expanding gaming market. What can better create an optimal experience than when real ‘objects’ are integrated into the virtual world? With this visionary idea, i OPENER’s founder, Thiang Liang Ong, devised a new technology which is defined in the ‘real-time racing’ patent.
The patent’s technology is used in i OPENER’s ‘real-time racing’ game, through integrating GPS data together with the cars’ data and track data into a virtual console/online game.
“This innovative technological breakthrough will enable players to join the game and compete in real-time directly against professional racing pilots when an actual live race is going on. Gamers will be able to join the excitement and suspense of the real race, and try to beat real-world, professional pilots and other virtual gamers right from their own homes”, says Andy Lürling, Commercial Director of i OPENER. His colleague Lex Knobben adds: “The market’s reaction towards this new exciting value-added feature in the gaming world has been phenomenal, and the concept can be leveraged for all auto, motor and other racing games.”
The proof of concept is currently under development for the real-time racing product, and is now ready for further investment to develop a marketable version of the ‘real-time’ game, which is expected to launch in the consumer market by the end of 2008.
Looking to the future, i OPENER has already identified a number of other games where GPS technology can be used to integrate the real world and the virtual world, including several value-added ‘serious’ gaming concepts. Combining the ‘user generated content’ Internet era with GPS, i OPENER is also exploring concepts by which to connect personal GPS devices to the (mobile) Internet.
i OPENER is convinced that GPS will play a pivotal role in the realisation of the integration of the real and virtual worlds, and will leverage this to strengthen its position as market leader in this area.