Next gen foosball
In a span of six years a smartphone model can go through more facelifts than a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. Around for hundreds of years, most tabletop games —apart from a few bells and whistles—remain mostly unchanged from their archetypes. The ample difference in the number of revamps between the latest iTrend and your local joint’s ping pong table is as much a sign of the times as it is of market opportunism, but also a consequence of the old world philosophy that some things are best left unchanged.
Of course, if that were mostly true, we never would have had table tennis, billiards, or foosball to begin with. The times are always a-changin’ and the romanticized game tables of old are changing with them. Projection-mapped table tennis is just the tip of the next-generation iceberg.
Scroll down to access the rest of the iceberg and to see what your 21st Century weekend has been missing out on.
A Ping Pong Table With The Heart Of A Music Video
Building upon the tried-and-true design elements of ping pong, David Rinman created an audiovisual experience, Beat Match, that is as much game as it is art-maker. Players trigger rhythmic patterns of graphics and music every time a ball strikes the surface, which might curb competitiveness over the long run, but will wow onlookers forever.
An 8-Person Foosball-Pong Hybrid
Working with The Creators Project, the wildly imaginative creative studio SuperUber constructed Super Pong. It certainly lives up to both aspects of its name, but might be more “super” than it is “pong,” as it also weaves in elements of foosball. If that wasn’t already cool enough, you can have matches with up to eight players.
“No Hands” Air Hockey
PONK, a conceptual game by Jonathan Da Costa and Florence Rampin, is a redux of classic air hockey systems. Powered by Kinect, players need only use hand gestures to control their respective mallets. Other tactile elements, like the shot cups in the video, can be added to its interface to enhance gameplay―and punk appeal. (Note: Cypress Hill sold separately).
Even those without a DJ insignia in front of their names will appreciate the Multi Touch Light Table. Frustrated with existing digital DJ applications, designer Greg Werk upped the ante by putting together an interface that is all finger-oriented.
Remote-Controlled Spinning Top Table
The good people at Japan’s University of Electro-Communications thought that string-pulled spinning tops were too passé for people living in the Information Age. Though it might not be tough to improve on a centuries old, wood-centric design, what they’ve created exceeds the expectations of the most hardened tech junkie.
Played on a graphical display surface, users are rewarded with digital explosions and sound effects every time two (or more) tops crash into each other. Instead of string, players use handheld devices to “remote-control” the tops through the use of magnets.
Foosball From The Future
Looking like a space-bound cruise ship, 11 - The Beautiful Game is a foosball table that addresses the design deficiencies of “modern” foosball sets. Using graphical displays, sleek lighting, and surgical-precise maneuverability, it’s the type of entertainment item that even oil tycoons drool over.