iMo uses your iPhone’s accelerometer to turn it into joystick for flying aircraft or racing cars in casual games.
The best way to explain what this company does is to watch the video below. (At the TechCrunch50 tradeshow, it was the only startup to have a presentation without words. They used “Eye of the Tiger” and 50 Cent music instead.) There are a lot of companies that use the iPhone’s accelerometer for gaming but what’s different about iMo is that it lets you control the games you own on your PC.
iMo interfaces with PC games now, but the in future it might work with PS3 and the X-box. It uses the buttons you press and the physical position of the iPhone to interface with the games you own on your PC through the Internet.
In the future, it could be applied to multiplayer games: a poker game, for example, might work with four or five iPhones. Different players could move the phones around to mimic the motion of dealing a card or showing a hand. Another one would turn your iPhone into a virtual tennis racket.
The Indian startup has two employees.
Roelof Botha, Sequoia Capital: Likes this idea. This is the one device that people carry and there are possibilities to turn it into a gaming joystick, a TV control or even an advanced medical device that calculates white blood cell counts with the smartphone’s camera.
Tony Hsieh, Zappos: If I were at home, I would probably prefer playing with a conventional joystick. But for people who are out, this is better suited.
Marissa Mayer, Google: A great, gutsy presentation. Interesting to see what happens when a startup pushes the bounds of sensory devices.