Philips Electronics is developing a new device that might save family board game night. The new Entertaible combines the social interaction of board games with the electronic excitement of video games and tech toys.
After a few years in development, Philips unveiled a prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January. The concept is relatively simple: Entertaible is a 30-inch LCD touch screen integrated into a tabletop. But unlike regular touch screens, it uses new multi-touch technology that can recognize several fingers and playing pieces at the same time. Players can interact with it by touching the screen and using specialized pawns.
Although the Entertaible is still in its prototype phase, Philips has many kid-targeted applications in mind. Traditional board and video game adaptations are on the list, but the technology is going to be marketed to the out-of-home sector first; it will appear in entertainment businesses such as casinos and arcades before reaching living rooms. Philips is seeking a business partner that can integrate a gaming platform into the device. Before unveiling its prototype, Philips first tested it on kids, who played with it enthusiastically with practically no instruction, Gerard Hollemans, senior scientist at Philips, says.