Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Milsim Laser Tag

To continue what Connor was mentioning in a previous post, there is a game that actually hybridizes paintball and laser tag... it's exactly what you would expect: Paintball Laser Tag. This system uses a radio frequency unit, an infrared barrel, and a traditional paintball marker. The RF unit replaces the hopper and sits in the hopper feed neck. This is connected to the IR barrel via a small cable. The IR barrel is sound activated and fires when the marker is dry-fired using CO2 or HPA thus giving the blowback feel of a traditional marker. Scores and statistics are sent to a wireless router via the RF unit which also displays information to the player on a small screen. Pictured above is a Tippmann 98 Custom fitted with a laser system by Predator Games.

I'm not quite sure how hits are detected as it isn't explained anywhere on their site. My guess is the red RF unit has IR sensors along its body and acts as the hit detector. This remains questionable to me just because the unit is so small and leaves not much of a target for players to shoot. Videos of this system in use seem to show a very responsive hit detection which means either the players in the video are shooting very accurately, or some other hit detection system is in use.

Here's a picture of a prototype from an album on the Predator Games website.

You can see in this picture that there are two devices in use with a Tippmann X7. My guess is both units are hit detectors while the black unit in the cyclone feed opening serves as the RF unit and also powers the IR barrel.

Here's a video of the Generation 1.0 in action (taken from the Predator Games website):

In the above video you can see the RF unit attached to their tactical vests and for one player, his marker. This brings up even more questions regarding how the IR barrel fires without the RF unit providing power. Predator Games has indicated that they will be releasing tactical vests and helmets which will enlarge the target area by providing more sensors on each player.

In January of 2009, Predator Games teamed up with Tippmann as an exclusive distributor for all their product lines. Tippmann markets the Eagle Eye System and the Barracuda System; the former runs CO2 or HPA through a paintball marker while the latter takes a paintball marker and permanently converts it to just a IR transmitter and receiver.

Take a look at this video posted on their website:

I've contacted Predator Games for more information on their products. I'll update this post when I get an answer.

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