Simultaneous multi-person user interfaces (SMUIs) were at the heart of MEX Pathway #3 and much discussed at MEX in December 2010. Tablets with multi-touch screens offer the enticing possibility of experiences which can be used by two or more people at the same time. However, in a world where digital interfaces have almost always been designed for one user at any one time, this represents a challenging new field.
OLO is a simple but addictive game which provides an interesting example of SMUI principles. Coloured discs are pushed from the edge of the screen in an attempt to land them in the opposing user’s scoring zone. Further discs may be pushed to knock your opponent’s discs back out of your zone.
It has been developed by London agency Sennep as a browser-based application in HTML5, working on iPad, iPhone and Android tablets, among others.
In addition to the technical achievement of delivering the gameplay in a browser, OLO touches on several SMUI concepts. For instance, it uses distinct colours to identify each user’s markers and has a central zone designed to be activated by either user.
Take a look, enjoy the gaming and see if it prompts any thoughts about what SMUIs might look like in other areas.