ePawn Arena combines traditional board games with digital elements to make board game type gaming more interactive. This device detects physical gaming pieces that it recognizes and interacts with, making the possibilities endless.
The ePawn Arena is designed for games which use physical pieces, such as Dungeons and Dragons style RPG games and the demo below shows how figurines placed on the arena can interact with each other. For instance, the figures can attack each other with weapons and magic spells, but if a map is programmed with walls the attacking figure’s spells will be blocked. Pretty cool no?
This device won’t just work with RPGs, of course. It’ll also work well for games like chess, backgammon, and even air hockey. They are also offering an SDK for iOS (current), Android and PC platforms (future) so developers can make their own games which use the technology.
They’re also working on a version of the technology which doesn’t use a display at all, but allows you to play with pieces on top of a traditional gaming surface, and then send the information back to your device.
ePawn is hoping to have their first device in stores later this year for about $400(USD) for a 26-inch LCD gaming board. That’s not a terrible intro price and it will come down in time. Keep in mind that’s the board itself will require a smartphone, tablet or PC to work, but since most of us already have one or all of those, that shouldn’t be a problem.