«No smartphone, no game»
Inspired by paintball, COBALT PROJECT® has developed a unique gaming concept, where video gaming meets live action. Boasting high technology equipment – namely a CROSSCALL ACTION-X3 smartphone – players tackle a 28,000 m2 game field with ultra-realistic decoration. Tactics, exploration and team spirit are the buzz words for this life-size video game. Take on Call of Duty IRL*.
Adrien, can you explain the concept behind Cobalt Project for us?
«Here at Cobalt Project, we’re looking at a new sporting discipline: Real Action Sport. We often describe our concept as a real-life video game. The idea is to associate the video game vibe with extreme sports.
The rule of the game is simple: “explore, move, score”. You have to explore the Map (a 30,000 m2 game field) to activate electronic terminals, which lets you earn points. Obviously, the more you play, the more points you get and the more points you get, the more new scenarios you can unlock.
It’s all down to the software we’ve created and developed: C.O.S (Cobalt Operating System). It collects player data in real time (time, actions, position, etc.) and has a direct influence on their game play. The possibilities are practically endless.
Besides the tack, integrated headset and ODK (Opponent Distance Keeper, a tool for keeping opponents at bay), each player is equipped with a “C.O.S Mob”. A specially created glove to which you can attach an ACTION-X3 smartphone with the gaming software installed on it. This terminal is the control hub. Without weapons, you can continue to play, but if there’s no phone, there’s no game. It’s the phone that centralises the player information and feeds it back to the server.
The software that we have developed is used for fun, but is also used to train the Special Forces during private sessions (NGIG, dog-handling teams, etc.)»
Why did you choose CROSSCALL phones?
«We decided to use the ACTION-X3 because, here at Cobalt, smartphones go through the wars. They’re on the front line.
Just like in Call of Duty (Author’s note: a popular video game), they’re fitted to the forearm. Therefore, we need screens capable of taking bullets and handsets which remain operational in all situations, because our players won’t hesitate before diving into water or mud.
These smartphones are also highly reliable in terms of GPS positioning and roaming, that is to say, they switch extremely quickly from one aerial to another on the Map (the game map).
We tested loads of other phones but these have the bonus of being lightweight, thin, aesthetic and robust.»
What are the next developments to come from Cobalt Project?
“Our original location is in Lutry, close to Lausanne in Switzerland, but we’re going to open a second base in Brussels, then two more in Paris and Vallauris. We’ve submitted the concept and algorithm for the United States and next year we’ll be opening another location in California.”
IRL* = “In Real Life”. Geek talk for the real world as opposed to the virtual world.
Call of Duty is a popular first-person shooting game which takes place during the Second World War.