comScore Sabertron Keeps Score for Your Lightsaber Battles | The Mary Sue
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The Sabertron Can Keep Track of All Your Hit Points for LARPing and Epic Lightsaber Battles

It's disappointing that the Force isn't a Kickstarter reward for this.

With so very much stuff on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it’s hard to know where you should be spending your hard earned dollars. If you’re looking for a worthwhile place to spend some money, here’s a lightsaber-inspired electronic sword that keeps score of your duel all on its own. The Sabertron is like laser tag for LARPers.

After all, where’s the fun in beating your friends into submission with foam swords if no one can tell who won? The Sabertron can (somehow) tell the difference between hitting another played or another sword, which allows it to pretty accurately keep track of whose health runs out first. Unfortunately for Star Wars fans, it doesn’t have any way of specifically detecting when someone’s hand gets cut off, but I’ll let that slide.

It was invented by computer engineer David Lynch (no relation) as a way to keep his kids more interested in playing in the real world than in video games, and he and electrical engineer Tim Reichard formed LevelUp to bring the Sabertron to everyone. Here’s how it works:

Sabertron uses wireless communications to determine when two swords have clashed. If a player strikes the ground, the microcontroller can ignore the strike because the sword is tilted down at an angle. If a player strikes a tree, a bystander, or the player’s self, the microcontroller will detect those objects as the opponent. This is a limitation and players must agree to be honest. This limitation will be removed in follow-on products that support Melee Mode, by utilizing proximity detection circuits. It is possible that the initial reward product supports this mode, depending on the production changes to bring Sabertron to the masses, but is not guaranteed.

They’re also planning a more medieval-style weapon to launch alongside the lightsaber-esque model, which they hope will revolutionize live action role playing games. The whole thing is like a fancy electronic fencing system, but players are more free to move around, since the technology inside the swords decides when contact has been made without the need for electrically conductive clothing or wires.

We’d love it if giant Jedi Knight (or just plain knight) battles became as popular as laser tag with systems like this, so we’re pretty excited and hopeful that this campaign goes well for LevelUp. If you want to play with one of these yourself, make sure you head over to their Kickstarter page and pitch in a bit.

Now, if someone would just invent an add-on that simulated the Force, we could finally live out our dreams.

(via LevelUp)

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