Tuesday, 15 May 2012

FaceTime

I am gradually learning how to use all the facilities on my iPad 2 and iPhone 4, and one that I have recently begun to use is FaceTime. This seems to be the Apple alternative to Skype, and allows the user to see the person they are talking to.


I have been trying to see if it is possible to use this facility to fight a wargame remotely. I have discovered how to use the camera that faces away from the user rather than the one that faces the user. This means that the person one is fighting the battle with will be able to see the action on the tabletop. I know that I can do this using a webcam attached to a PC, but being able to move in much closer to the action – which would be possible if I could use my iPhone – might be much more advantageous. It might even make it possible to check whether or not a unit has direct line-of-sight to a target.

Ah, the joys of new technology!

10 comments:

  1. Interesting. I keep meaning to give this a try. All we need to now is agree on a game...

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  2. This is interesting and quite timely for my, Bob. So happens that I've been using my iPad2 lately for a game between two remotely located players both in a campaign I'm running. The iPad has a decent camera, allowing a widescreen picture that one can send to a recipient directly from the device, rather than faffing about finding the cable to connect my digital camera to the computer, download the pictures, then send them. I had just downloaded the Skype app for the iPad, not realizing that the FaceTime app may well offer the same functionality. I shall have to test them both to see.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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  3. For years I've been joking about taking part in the annual Berkeley 'Hordes of the Things' via technology like this. It would mean me staying up all night though - technology doesn't overcome time-zones :)

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  4. Tim Gow,

    This is still at the experimental stage as far as I am concerned, but I think that it has potential.

    Perhaps we could discuss this face-to-face at COW2012 ... or even using FaceTime beforehand!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Mad Padre (Mike),

    I would be interested to hear how you get on. I have also downloaded Skype, not realising that I already had FaceTime pre-loaded onto my iPad and iPhone.

    The iPhone, being smaller and lighter, means that in a figure game it is possible to get in close to the models and terrain, and if you wanted to have limited vision for a player (e.g. 'From your position on the hilltop, this is what you can see.') this might be a possibility. Using the iPad to umpire a map game also has potential for limiting what the individual players will know.

    This sort of technology does open up all sorts of possibilities; all we have to do is to push the envelop to see what we can achieve with it.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Kaptain Kobold,

    Whilst it will not overcome the time difference, it does mean that you could - on the odd occasion - actually see what is happening in real time. You might not be there … but Virtual You could be!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Not visual, but my brother sent regular tweets about a tournament he was playing in last Saturday that I read during the evening whilst I was at the theatre - there's something quite marvellous about watching a play in Australia whilst following the course of a wargames tournament in the UK :)

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  8. From a non wargames point of view, Skype allows you to call ordinary numbers as well as Skype IDs. For us ex-pats it's a godsend; Skype on a mobile allows me to keep in touch with my family 10,000 miles away by phone even when out and about. And all for the cost of a local call ...

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  9. Kaptain Kobold,

    The situation sounds almost surreal ... and must have been very entertaining as well.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Kaptain Kobold,

    I have Skype installed on my iPad, iPhone, and PC, and I have also used it to make low-cost calls over long distance.

    I see FaceTime as an alternative for people who can access an iPhone, an iPad, and even an iPod Touch (which also has Facetime I understand) and have wireless access.

    I hope to experiment with my iPhone and iPad later today, and if the experiments produce interesting results, I will write a blog entry about them.

    All the best,

    Bob

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