The first games console to use radio frequency identification technology, designed around interaction, launches in the UK today.
The designer behind some of Nokia’s most popular handsets, Khodi Feiz, has turned his hand to start-up brand Swinxs, initiated by its creator Govert de Vries and backed by the founder of Bugaboo strollers Eduard Zanen.
Feiz, the founder of Dutch product design consultancy Feiz Design, explains that the promotion of physicality among children has been the key driver of Swinxs, and RFID technology has been instrumental in facilitating the brand.
‘The Wii has been a good first step, but you are still standing in front of a TV screen. Swinxs actively promotes children’s creativity,’ Feiz points out.
Feiz Design developed a number of concepts considering factors including how children might hold the console, as well as where and when it could be used to promote physicality and interactivity. The final design – robust, easy to pick up and waterproof – can be used outdoors.
Swinxs’ key features, which mark it out from other games consoles, including Nintendo’s Wii, are its wearable tag wristbands that can communicate with the games console, as well as its open-ended system, which allows third parties to contribute to the ongoing development of games, says Feiz.
‘The idea that you have a wearable product is interesting and novel, while the interactivity between the tags and the Swinxs itself makes it different to other consoles,’ he explains. ‘The open-endedness of Swinxs means that games can be developed and enhanced, making it easier for children to give their ideas, which third parties can develop.’
Swinxs comprises elements – including the actual games console – that explain and referee games; XS tags, or wristbands with microchips that communicate through RFID with Swinxs; and Swinxs.com, which connects Swinxs to a computer, and from which Swinxs games can be downloaded for free.
Feiz Design was commissioned by Swinxs, following previous collaborations between de Vries and Feiz at Intersport.