Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 9 (September 2000)

Spotlight: InterSense Targets Gaming

With its latest offering, the InterTrax2, the company has begun to wedge more deeply into consumer space. The sub-$1000 motion-tracking device, which measures about three inches long by one inch high and mounts atop a headset, has been designed to work with Sony's PlayStation2, and also with PCs running Windows 98/2000. Although InterSense president Charlie Miller freely concedes that the price point needs to become even lower for the device to gain widespread consumer acceptance, he is confident that the InterTrax2's smaller size, mountability, and powerful performance will prove attractive to many consumers.

Software developer Global Majic, based in Huntsville, Alabama, makes a 3D rendering engine for games that supports the InterTrax2. Though the company also supports other tracking devices, vice president of sales Mark Still says he likes the Inter Trax2 because of its simplicity and lightness. Unlike with some other de vices, it isn't necessary for programmers at Global Majic to write special code to support the InterTrax2. "You just plug it into a USB port and it finds the Human Interface portion of Windows and it's ready to go," says Still.

The InterTrax2 is based on the same inertial technology on which many of the company's other offerings have been developed. Like its predecessor, the InterTrax, it offers three degrees of freedom-yaw, pitch, and roll. The InterTrax2 is, however, less than half the size of the first-generation device, and features a USB interface that allows it to work with the forthcoming PlayStation2.

The diminutive tracker can be purchased alone for $999.95, or in conjunction with various headsets. (InterSense; Burlington, MA; 781-270-0090;