Wednesday, 16 May 2012

FaceTime experiment

I had a bit of spare time this morning so I decided to conduct a simple experiment to see whether I could use FaceTime to send a tabletop image of a wargame in progress from my iPhone to a 'remote' iPad. The set-up for the experiment looked like this:


The image on the 'remote' iPad looked like this:


I think that this proves that the idea is reasonably feasible. The only problems than presented themselves were:
  • Making the initial connection between the iPhone and the iPad (unless I accepted the 'call' almost instantly, they 'hung up' on each other).
  • I was getting a degree of feed-back from the microphones as both the devices were close together in the same room.
I wonder if it might be possible to experiment with this further in the future. An ideal opportunity might present itself at the forthcoming Conference of Wargamers (COW2012) in early July.

12 comments:

  1. Knocking the phone over is going to be an issue too :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Does using FaceTime not count as a call - with the attendant expense?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bob

    That's an entertaining idea, and the image on teh Ipad came out very well. I could see this being useful at COW with generals being locted in other rooms from the tabletop.

    Although it looks like you found round about way for a solitaire game right now! Have you tried skype yet?

    Cheers PD

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mr Kinch asked a good question. The answer, as far as I can understand, is no, not if the call is made and answered by both parties using wifi rather than their cellular networks.
    See http://www.macworld.com/article/1152326/facetime.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Kiwi,

    I think that this has possibilities that need to be explored.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kaptain Kobold,

    I can almost hear the complaints now ... 'You chipped the paint on my Lancers when your iPhone fell on them!'

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. Conrad Kinch,

    My understanding is that the iPhone and iPad will only access FaceTime via a WiFi connection. I tried using FaceTime on my iPhone using the 3G network and it refused to connect.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  8. Peter Douglas,

    Whilst the image on the iPad was not pefect, it was certainly good enough to use in a wargame.

    Other uses come to mind besides showing remote players what is happening on the tabletop. For example, umpires could use it to feed information to players in the form of media-style broadcasts ('Here is the Ten O'clock News, and this is The Umpire reading it.')

    I have not yet tried Skype as I only have two connections. I also understand that the calls have to be paid for, whilst - as far as I know - FaceTime is free.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mad Padre,

    My experiments back up what you have said.

    My iPhone would not connect using FaceTime via the normal mobile phone network. Because my iPad is only ever used in places where I have free WiFi access, I did not opt for the 3G option so it cannot connect using FaceTime except using WiFi.

    In addition, it is my understanding the FaceTime will only work using WiFi ... so this would mean that unless you have to pay for access to WiFi, using FaceTime is free.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bob
    Ian is planning a different approach in his wargaming room. An intternet camera ddirectly above the battlefield (suspended from the ceiling) and linked to his PC. The idea is to capture images at each stage of the battle and these can be picked up by ipAd, laptop or mobile phone.

    We see using ipads as devices to hold the rule sets during battles but the above can also allow people to 'play' remotely if they can't get to Ians (as they can see the battlefield as well as someone who is actually in the room).

    This is all planned for later this year so you can catch up on updates on my blog.

    Phil

    ReplyDelete
  11. Phil Broeders,

    The idea of suspending a camera directly above the tabletop so that remote players can see the action sounds like an interesting development.

    I tend to have copies of my rules on my iPad, but I have yet to use them during a wargame. Perhaps that is something that I will need to consider in the future. It might certainly reduce the amount of clutter!

    I think that - as yet - wargamers have only scratched the surface with regard to the possibilities of using new technology with figure games. I will look forward to reading about the use of the suspended camera as and when it becomes operational.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete