Gaming systems like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have advanced graphics capabilities that make racing games look almost like you're doing the real thing. While today's games are everything we've ever hoped for, iOpener Media appears ready to take the next step by letting gamers actually participate in race day. The Netherlands-based company has created a way of utilizing GPS signals of professional drivers from a live event to let gamers go head to head with the world's best on their TVs. Sweet! This technology could very soon give you the ability to participate virtually in a real race, provided that iOpener Media has set up track-side servers to communicate car positioning over the Internet and into your gaming console. The system is so accurate, it can determine the location of every vehicle in the race to within 30 cm.

iOpener Media doesn't intend to build the actual games, but it will offer its technology to game developers. It will also provide virtual reality software that blends real and virtual worlds by creating on-the-fly, real-looking crashes and take-over maneuvers that simulate the interaction between real and fake cars.

While such a game would give you a much better experience of racing in a real event, it isn't perfect. For example, Lewis Hamilton will never see you, so he won't react to your every move. Also, any real drivers that run into your virtual open wheel will go on untouched while you fly into a cement barrier. But it's still a new take on driving games, and if it provides enough real-life experience, hard-core gamers will love it. And the best part is that the technology has already been tested with an F1 car, and it could very well be a reality in time for the next Christmas shopping season. Thanks for the tip, Patrick!

[Source: BBC News]