The History of TRAZER Games

The History of TRAZER Games, written by Co-Founder MaryEllen French.

The TRAZER Technology was preceded by two other inventions. The first was called IMPAX and was innovated in the mid-1980’s. It was gear designed to electronically measure reaction time to a light and the force of impact of a punch, kick, strike, or football tackle.

The second was licensed to Cybex International in the early 1990’s. They called it REACTOR. It used a series of paired force platforms to look at ground reaction forces in movement and measured speed over distance, height of a jump, acceleration, and deceleration.

In the mid-1990’s, our two boys (Barry Jr., TRAZER CEO, and Neall) were “tweens” and Nintendo was the rage. The onset of childhood obesity was taking center stage in the news and Barry Sr. saw a need for gaming that would get kids up off the couch . . . enter TRAZER.

Everyone knows that exercise is vital to health and wellbeing, but for most people it’s boring. We concluded that it was a shame that mentally stimulating video games exercised only fingers and wrists. How cool would it be if exercise could be as much fun and as engaging as video games? We also knew from our previous work with computer-based simulation in healthcare and sports science that the type of movement driving our exercise program was essential to maximizing results.

 The First TRAZER Games

The first TRAZER Games were designed to develop certain movement skills – agility, vertical leap, stronger legs and posture from squatting and lunging, depth perception, peripheral vision, strategic planning and more. Disney Imagineers helped to create the graphics and the first hand built TRAZERs debuted at Epcot in Tom Morrow’s Playland and Walt’s Living Room of the Future.

TRAZER Games, Reimagined with Release of TRAZER+

Some of those classic TRAZER games have been re-imaged and released with the new TRAZER + software. New games with enhancements to engage the brain more closely, and requiring problem-solving, memory, enhanced reaction time – full and simultaneous engagement of the brain + body – have been added.

Sports may be the most obvious example of the complexity of interactive 3D movement, but it’s important to remember that the TRAZER interface applies at some level to most other daily activities as well. How quickly can you react to the cat jumping out from under the table or slipping on a patch of ice? In all these situations, we must perceive, react, and move instantly.

In creating the first “flight simulator” for physical performance and health enhancement, we learned from the study of ancient martial arts, pioneering computer-based simulation, and the latest research in human-computer interfaces and learning theory.

We soon proved that simulation could create a more realistic and productive virtual environment through which physical, physiological, and cognitive capabilities can be accurately assessed and enhanced. Simulation can model and replicate the complex challenges experienced in your dynamic, real-world environment to provide a superior screening and training tool. And most importantly, simulation is uniquely capable of delivering the one type of exercise whose benefits most directly transfer to real-world activities.

Simulation reproduces the 3D movement challenges you face in daily living without the constraints or risk factors inherent in the real world.

See TRAZER games and more LIVE by scheduling a demo today.