MWC - Zeemote wants mobile gamers to let go of their phone

Zeemote has shown a wireless remote control for playing games on mobile phones.

You might think the last thing you'd need to play games on your mobile phone would be a wireless remote control, but Zeemote's JS1 is just that.

The Bluetooth device has four buttons and a thumb-operated analog joystick, and can be held in the left or right hand, leaving the other hand free to hold the phone.

The control measures 95 millimeters x 35 mm x 20 mm, and is less fiddly to operate than the small buttons on phones, said Jim Adams, Zeemote's vice president of sales and business development. Separating the control from the phone also makes it easier to hold the display steady while playing action games, he said at a press event on the eve of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where Zeemote will be showing the device.

This reporter is no gamer, but flying the helicopter in Fishlabs' shoot-em-up game Heli Strike 3D seemed easier with the Zeemote than with the tiny joystick of the Nokia N95 on which the game was running. The instinctive reaction is to point the control at the phone, holding them close together, but the gadget works just as well if you relax and let your arm fall to your side.

Fireworks, a bubble-bursting game developed by Finblade, showed off what Adams sees as a key benefit of the JS1: it makes two-player gaming possible on a single mobile phone. It also showed that whoever is holding the phone has a certain advantage.

Games must be specially coded to work with the Zeemote, Adams said, but the company will offer programmers a software development kit (SDK) at no cost. Zeemote will retain control of the SDK under a royalty-free license that will allow it to ensure that game play meets a certain minimum quality standard, he said.

In addition to Fishlabs and Finblade, Zeemote is working with developers such as Eidos and Sega Mobile, the company said.

Zeemote will sell the device first in Europe, because the high-end handsets it is most likely to be used with are more prevalent here, Adams said.

No price has been set: the company hopes to convince operators or retailers to bundle the controller with games and a new phone. Focus groups have told the company they would expect to pay between US$30 and $50 for such a device, Adams said.

The company plans to put the controller into mass production in May. The three-year-old company is on surer financial footing after landing $7million in new funding from Nauta Capital, Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Egan-Managed Capital.

The Mobile World Congress, at the Fira de Barcelona, runs through Thursday.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?