Phoam Swords

November 18, 2015
Category: Projects

Tools: Android, Java, Node.js, Javascript, Phidgets, C#, RFID, 3D Printing


Video games are increasingly becoming popular on mobile devices and use a wide range of sensors to enhance the experience while on the go. While many games utilize a virtual world to play in, few games mix the real world with game elements. Here I tackle the problem of physically augmenting a mobile phone to enable fun and deeper immersion between two players in a jousting like game. Players attach their phones into the Phoame sword attachment and wear a special T-Shirt. Players have to attack one of three spots on the shirt, earning 1 point for every arm hit and 2 points for every chest hit. The player inflicts damage to their opponent gets healed by the amount of damage dealt thus resulting in a tug-o-war battle.

The physicality of the swords allows players to use a large variety of tactics using the environment, arms, legs, and proximity to the player. In contrast to traditional buttons on a gamepad, Players can take an aggressive stance by making rapid attacks, use body language to trick opponents, or even block attacks using their other arm.

Two players fighting with the Phoam Swords


A player ready to take on their opponent. (left) Phoam Sword. (right) Player wearing sword sensing shirt.
The Phoam Sword attachment. Designed to fit an Samsung Galaxy S3. It uses a Phidget RFID Tag at the tip of the blade. It also features an NFC tag to automatically launch the application.
An augmented sword shirt uses Phidget RFID sensors to detect the sword tips. The green points are deal 1 damage while the red point deals 2 damage.

Video Demo