Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Saturday, 3 May 2014

SNIPE: Origins

So, XnTouch (the guys making SNIPE) are working on capacitive darts so they can interact with a tablet. Umm, COOL! But what are the origins of this idea? Liran (co-founder of XnTouch) was nice enough to fill me in on the back story :)

It all started two years ago when his business partner had an idea to add physical elements to mobile games. That's how XnTouch was born.

The first product they developed was the SliceSword. It was made especially for the top-rating app Fruit Ninja, in partnership with its Australian developer Halfbrick Studios, and it's sold via their online channels at the moment.

SNIPE was born during the production of the SliceSword actually. As they tested different types of electro-conductive materials and studied the specifications and limitations of touchscreen devices, they discovered a way to make a physical product interact with the screen without the need for human touch with the product itself.

There isn't any product on the market (stylus, e-conected toys, etc.) that generates a reaction from a capacitive touchscreen without the need of a direct human touch as grounding, except for SNIPE darts. Which is pretty cool.

They thought about what can be done with this new technology and knowledge, but most of all, what kind of new fun gaming experiences can they could create with it? As fans of shoot-em up games, ex-IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers, and foam dart blaster enthusiasts, they had one thing in mind - creating a new way to play shooting games with mobile devices. This what SNIPE is all about. They have no intention to compete with NERF or change outdoor blasting, but actually add some new excitement to this already successful market. This is why SNIPE darts are compatible with NERF front loading blasters, and they hope it will give Nerfers another way to play with blasters indoors while maybe practicing their accuracy and speed in-front of unlimited digital targets.

"We filled a patent on the SNIPE Touch Darts technology a year ago, and at the moment we are testing different types of prototypes and materials, along with beta testings of multi-platform apps that will evolve as SNIPE catches up. We are working with top-notch product engineerings and American material specialists in order to make the best product possible."

At first it was very hard to make the SNIPE darts interact with the touchscreen in EVERY impact, due to lack of availability in off-the-shelf electro-conductive materials, and specifically conductive suction cups. So they created their own mold to figure that one out and moved forward successfully!

Currently, they are hoping to raise some funds (around 100K USD) through Kickstarter in order to move towards production and final app development, along with getting a better understanding on their future costumers needs and desires before launch.

SNIPE looks like it'll be really fun and I really hope the Kickstarter works out well for them! It'll be like playing Time Crisis with a blaster... sort of.

~ Rob

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