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Neural Interface for Gaming Getting Closer? 186

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the think-your-way-victory dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mercury News is reporting that a neural interface for gaming may be in the not-so-distant future thanks to at least two start-ups developing this technology. From the article: 'The goal is to create game console add-ons costing less than $100. Some of the game play features can be conscious -- such as forcing someone to concentrate in order to drive a car faster or toss something at an enemy. Others can be subconscious. The game could slow down, for instance, if the sensors pick up an increase in anxiety, Lee said. The company hasn't set a timetable for the product launches of its customers.'"
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Neural Interface for Gaming Getting Closer?

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  • by chriss (26574) * <chriss@memomo.net> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:18PM (#15201164) Homepage

    The most astonishing part is that NeuroSky actually got some seed money (maybe from the CEOs mom?) and are looking for a first round of venture capital.

    "But we have worked on a way for detecting them with a low-cost technology and then interpreting what they mean."

    What the article describes is that they offer a cheap EEG. That's about it. The second part ( ... interpreting what they mean ... ) is complete bullshit. What you can measure from an EEG is the sum of all the neurons in your cortex firing all the time. There are typical patterns, e.g. the general frequency changes when you are relaxed. This is rather easy to determine. But controlling a video game? Imagine "to fire press button A or meditate for five minutes".

    This is by the way exactly what the other company mentioned (CyberLearning Technology) sells for a lot of money to hopeless parents with kids that have ADHD. Basically if you do not concentrate, you cannot reach maximum speed. A simple biofeedback system, think "$5 self-build lie detector with skin resistance measuring", only with a $584 price tag. It actually works, but the price is somewhat ridiculous.

    Now there are ways to use an EEG to control a more advanced interface. If you have enough sensors you can try to calculate the 3D source from where a pattern came in the brain, like you can reversely calculate where a sound came from if you place several microphones in a room and compare the different runtimes of the sound waves. thus giving you much more precise input. I heard a lecture about this at the Aachen University of Technology almost 10 years ago, a very interesting cooperation between their medical department and their computer scientists, than using a massive amount of machine power. You still have to solve the puzzle how to consciously create these patterns.

    On this years CeBIT I talked to a group from another university that presented an EEG interface for paraplegics. They could determine whether the signal came from the right or left hemisphere of the brain by having the person "think" left or right. The system allowed the user to enter about 15 characters per minute after a lot of training, but actually ran on a recent PC.

    Unfortunately the rate cannot be easily increased, since the signals are kind of fuzzy. But if DSPs and some generations of software allowed to squeeze >25MBit through a pair of copper lines which where said to top at 56kbit, they may do something similar to EEGs. But not soon. NeuroSky and Cyberlearning will long be forgotten by then.

    • What you can measure from an EEG is the sum of all the neurons in your cortex firing all the time.

      If only there were some way of connecting the video game controller directly into certain neural pathways. Simply by thinking about, we could stimulate those pathways and control the game. Maybe there's some way we could piggy back onto existing neural connections... in fact, given that much of our neurology is connected to our masculature system, I wonder if there was some way we could tap into that. Like, when our brain stimulated these "muscle nerves", we could have that activate the controller in some direct way.

      Nah, sorry. I'm getting waaaaaaay too blue sky here.

      • Your brain stimulates the muscle nerves to move the muscles. So would you propose disconnecting them from the muscles to use them to control a video game?
        Now in the case of someone with nerve damage - this is exactly what has been experimented with. So that the messages sent to formerly control a hand could control a prothstetic hand.
        The big question is - if you could directly control a controller via your brain, would it be a big improvement over using your brain to control your hand which moves the contro
        • Your brain stimulates the muscle nerves to move the muscles. So would you propose disconnecting them from the muscles to use them to control a video game?

          No, I was making a joke. :)

          • Joke as it may be, it's not as far from the truth as gpp's "So would you propose disconnecting them from the muscles" statement implies. There is in fact leakage; when thinking about, for example, raising your arm, small impulses do actually leave the brain. They can be picked up using sensitive enough equipment, but it's not enought to make the muscles respond.

            One interesting time this happens is when you're dreaming. If, in the dream, you wiggle one of your fingers, this can actually be detected. Chemical
        • yes he was making a joke, but also, for a well executed 'mind reading' type interface, you wouldn't think 'go left, go right' etc, and you wouldnt be using it to control a platform game - you'd control the game exactly by executing the motions you would in real life, eg pulling your finger back to pull a trigger (bad example as that can be done using buttons), or turn your head to look in a different direction (can be done with VR specs and motion sensors). Most things could be done with external sensors, b
    • Check out Wild Divine [wilddivine.com] for an example of what you can do with a game that uses biofeedback. It's like $150 and comes with a biofeedback device that plugs into a USB port.

      The concept of the game is to have you use meditative techniques to manipulate things in the game. So you have to make a baloon rise, or something like that to progress in the game. It's an interesting concept but the game itself gets repetitive pretty fast since the tasks you perform are all pretty similar. The artwork is different for
    • 2050 is a hell of a long time for tech already available today, you do realize that, don't you?

      The lecture you were on was also 10 years ago.

      In 1950 we barely even had computers in the normal meaning of the word.

      Would it really take that long for existing tech to get cheap enough to be useful for entertainment systems?
      • The problem is not the computer technology. The problem is that we are at the very beginnings of understanding how our brains work. Think about artificial intelligence: since the 1960 the breakthrough of creating an intelligent computer was always just ten years in the future (longtime running gag, so today they are more careful with these predictions). But we still have no clue what exactly makes us intelligent. We do not even seem to have a clue how to be intelligent, even less how to recreate that from s

        • Well, it seems to me the problem is more that we do not have a non-invasive, cheap way to record brain activity in real time.

          Once you connect the output of neural firing to some observable feedback, the brain itself will learn to take control. We don't need to know more about the brain to accomplish this, we just need to technology to interface with it.
          • Well, it seems to me the problem is more that we do not have a non-invasive, cheap way to record brain activity in real time.

            My Nielsen recording box sitting atop my Zenith says otherwise.

          • ass invasion to come... poop-detector connected to scent emitter enables all neurally-connected players the opportunity for tap out "First Sniff" and to speak into the mic, "somebody fahted"...

            Whatever happened to the scent emitter ideas. In urban warfare games, the smell of carrion, cordite, and more could REALLY get the adrenaline flowing behind every firewall and digital fireline.

            Maybe those rumbling chairs might see more sales...
    • by SkyFire360 (889512) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:54PM (#15201362)
      Sad, but true

      I'm working for a group that does ECoG (Electro-Cortocography), and even our resolution is too poor to accurately control things in more than two dimensions. A breakdown of the different resolutions of Brain-Computer-Interfacing is here [imageshack.us]. The problem with EEG is that the skull acts as a signal damper that disperses and blurs the electromagnetic waves created by the neurons. Though we can still detect the waves created, it becomes increasingly more difficult to discern what area of the brain created these waves, much less what neuron(s) did.

      A breakdown of the different types of BCI currently being developed and researched:

      • EEG - Electro-Encephalograph - Biggest advantage is that anyone can use it, as it can be worn like a helmet or a headband. Though because it is non-invasive, it has extremely poor resolution
      • ECoG - Electro-Cortocography - Though it needs to be implanted inside the skull, it produces fairly good resolution. Also, because it only sits on top of the brain as opposed to inside gray matter, it has much less of a chance to form scar-tissue (though still greater than zero). Tough to get more than one dimension of control.
      • Single Receptor - A microscopic electrode is placed directly in contact with a specific neuron or group of neurons. This allows researchers to directly measure the potential of one neuron firing. Of course, this requires the electrode to be implanted. This form of BCI is also very prone to scar-tissue buildup, causing the signal to become weaker and possibly lost as the body reacts to a foreign object in the brain.
      • Light Reactive Imaging - Still very theoretical - A laser is trained on a single neuron and its reflectance is picked up by a separate sensor. When the neuron fires, the laser light pattern and wavelengths that are reflected change slightly. This allows researchers to monitor a single neuron while leaving the tissue "untouched", negating the issue of scar-tissue buildup. However, this technology is not able to penetrate the skull yet, as would be needed for external/non-invasive BCI

      More information about BCI and ECoG can be found in a presentation from a WashU professor [wustl.edu]. Check pages 9-11 for some good slides
    • Agreed. EEG signal is so spatially blurred by the scalp that fine control is not likely to be achieved this way. Any reasonable degree of control will require extensive training. People have learned to move a cursor left or right on a screen using things like change in alpha asymmetry between left and right hemispheres, but it's not easy and it's crude.

      A more likely future technology is a direct brain implant under the scalp. (There have already been several monkey experiments where monkeys have learne
    • How long to the next dot.bomb bubble?
    • So NeuroSky ain't into Gibson [wikipedia.org] territory, by a long shot. But, nice try.
    • Does anyone remember the MindDrive being marketed by The Other 90%??

      Given the utter lack of information at their website [other90.com], here's an archived link from CNN [cnn.com].

      Ah the beginnings of the first tech bubble..

    • One thing that always irks me about the slashdot crowd is that they tend to have more pessimism about emerging technologies than you'd think most nerd/geek crowds would have.

      It is almost like everyone has a luddite streak in them that they just don't believe these things will happen just because we don't have StrongAI promised in 2001: Space Oddessy or flying cars like in Jetsons.

      I know slashdot is getting old (with the 40+ something crowd being the majority of its readers), but c'mon!

      2050? More like 2020 (
    • You can only trivially compute the source of an EEG signal: it is the whole head. For the rest, it is unsolvable (it's known as Helmholtz's inverse problem). Where I work (http://www.fcdonders.nl/ [fcdonders.nl]), much EEG related research makes an attempt to estimate the source of the *difference* of two signals. That's probably what you saw in Aachen. And even that is very problematic. It basically just works under rather heavy assumptions about the nature of the source and the fact that there is only one source. And ev
    • But if DSPs and some generations of software allowed to squeeze >25MBit through a pair of copper lines which where said to top at 56kbit, they may do something similar to EEGs.

      Just a note. Older modems used the audible frequencies of the phone line, int he range of around 300 Hz to 3500 Hz. Later modem standards could take advantage of "all digital" voice lines with 15-bit samples 4000 times per second (56k). But all of these were limited to the VOICE band, because that's all the equipment at the int
  • Output? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dukiebbtwin (912572) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:20PM (#15201170)
    Now how long will it be until this sort of input is reversed and a game will directly impact our physical body?
    • "I know kung-fu!"
    • Re:Output? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Sathias (884801)
      Someone might also invent some sort of device to turn one of our hands into a printer. Oh wait a second...
    • Oh, about a negative zillion years. Before "video games", we just had "games"...
    • Re:Output? (Score:3, Informative)

      by venicebeach (702856)
      Now how long will it be until this sort of input is reversed and a game will directly impact our physical body?

      You mean like with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) [wikipedia.org]?

      But, really more to the point, every kind of "input" you interact with affects your physical body, i.e. your brain, in some fashion or another.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @07:08PM (#15201459)
      There was once a semi-theory that GUI interfaces use would would cause us to grow one long finger (for mouse clicking) and cause one eye to get bigger and the other to disappear (since you only need one eye to look at a mionitor).

      This is however countered by the more recent text messaging two-thumbed theory that we only need two thumbs and other fingers will waste away. Perhaps it is safe to assume that these trends change faster than evolution/intelligent design can change us, so we'll stay just as ugly as we ever were.

      • There was once a semi-theory that GUI interfaces use would would cause us to grow one long finger (for mouse clicking) and cause one eye to get bigger and the other to disappear (since you only need one eye to look at a mionitor).

        Oh sure. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye...

    • There was the article a year or two back about using microvoltage applied to the temples to counteract (or cause) motion sickness. Seems we should see that first; a flight sim that lets you feel the bank, or a FPS where you feel youself dodging the opponent.
    • So what we are actually trying to create is a game that feels real, looks real and interacts as if you were playing with real people.

      the best you can do then is to turn off the computer and just interact with other PEOPLE!.
  • by MikeWasHere05 (900478) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:22PM (#15201179)
    The company hasn't set a timetable for the product launches of its customers.


    Well thats certainly not a way to win over your demograph...
  • Screw gaming (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I want a neural interface to Google.
    • by Flimzy (657419)
      And how about a google interface to your brain? GoogleBrain, which helps you retrieve that phone number you got last night when you were drunk..
    • Re:Screw gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Loconut1389 (455297) * on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:36PM (#15201268)
      A throw-away comment from an AC- but seriously, imagine the borg-like capabilities we'd all possess if every time we needed knowledge, we could tap into google without taking away from whatever we were doing? Matrix things like "Tank, get me a pilot program for a B-212 helicopter" would be somewhat possible- though we'd still have to 'read' the material. Imagine how well we'd all do on MCAT's or LSAT's, etc. Person drops dead on the floor in front of you, all of a sudden you can look up exactly what to do and what could be wrong.

      It is unlikely that something like this will be available in our lifetime- though this 'singularity' some say is close, I have a hard time believing it. Still, the possibilities are both frightening and inspiring.
      • by rts008 (812749)
        "Person drops dead on the floor in front of you, all of a sudden you can look up exactly what to do and what could be wrong."
        WTF??!!
        He's dead, Jim....bury the poor f*cker already!
        What do you need to look up on Google?
      • by slashname3 (739398) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @07:10PM (#15201467)
        It's all fun and games until you realize that Microsoft controls the code and the first virus hits that takes control of your BRAIN!

        User: Uh, tech support, I have OUCH a problem. I keep poking OUCH my self in the eye. This started happening after I OUCH played that new came that OUCH interfaces with your brain.

        Tech support: Yes sir, you have the Three Stooges Virus. You did not update your system did you? The patch was out three weeks ago.

        User: OK, so I have a OUCH virus how do OUCH I get rid of it? OUCH

        Tech support: This requires a complete reboot. Do you have one of our home difibulators? You will need one to stop your heart and then restart it after 30 seconds. If that does not work you will need to reload the OS. You did make backups didn't you.

        User: Uh, backups? Of my brain? OUCH Uh no, I don't OUCH have any backups. OUCH

        Tech support: Well sir that requires a complete reinstall. We sell a reinstall kit.....
      • December 21, 2012 to be exact.
      • by cimmer (809369)
        Knowledge on demand? Check out the short net novel "Manna" by Marshall Brain. I believe this was a post on Slashdot a while back. It's the best (and happiest) postulation of that scenario I've read. http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]
      • There was a Stargate SG-1 episode about that. A civilization that built a forcefield to protect itself from the extreme pollution in its planet, and the only major piece of technology you saw them use was the 'Link'(I think that was the name), which connected to a computer with a database of all the information they had. Except the power source for the forcefield was failing, so the forcefield had to slowly shrink, leading to the computer having to kill off people and erase their memories of it using the
  • No, really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by supabeast! (84658) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:24PM (#15201191)
    "The company hasn't set a timetable for the product launches of its customers."

    Given that current neural interfaces only work worth a damn when surgical implantation is involved, not having a timetable is pretty understandable.

    What I really want to know is how these companies plan to avoid bankruptcy in the meanwhile. Of course, given what passes for a success in business in twenty-first century America, maybe they aren't.
  • And I thought this [slashdot.org] would never come true!
  • Others can be subconscious. The game could slow down, for instance, if the sensors pick up an increase in anxiety, Lee said.

    If they can pull this off, I wonder how it will play with real brain function. I have read about how people perceive time to slow when they are in a situation that causes an adrenaline rush. If the game was realistic enough, it is possible it could cause the player's adrenaline to start up. It would be interesting to see how it works/what happens in that case.

    • The idea is to be able to keep yourself under enough control that an adrenaline rush doesn't fsck up your brain waves.

      The only notable news here is that they're working on bringing this type of technology down to a $100 price point.

      Most of those biofeedback setups (with relation to games) are used in therapy to help 'patients' modulate their brainwaves. People with ADHD seem to be pretty big winners because of it.
  • I for one welcome our new video game console overlords...
  • So how long till .hack?
  • by tktk (540564) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:29PM (#15201228)
    If this happens, gamers will get even weaker. As it stands, gamers can be proud of their oddly-muscled forearms, fingers and thumbs. But what will they have in the future? A vein on their forehead that they can pulse on command.
  • Slowdown (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The game could slow down, for instance, if the sensors pick up an increase in anxiety.


    Ingenious! When fighting a boss, the game freezes!
  • Back off? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Loconut1389 (455297) * on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:30PM (#15201239)
    Why back off when the viewer/player gets anxiety? Half Life 2 was pretty f'in scary going through ravenholm- couldn't imagine how scary yet cool it would have been to have the zombies/scary things come out just when you're most freaked out.

    Psychological impact on some people could be bad though.. Perhaps a 'freak me out' threshold option?
    • Re:Back off? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 4D6963 (933028)
      Great thought. Having some scary shit poppin up right when you're freakin out the most could be great, but that makes me think, if what you fear happens when you fear (kind of like in that movie Sphere), could you end up controlling your fear knowing that the two are linked? That'd be interesting.

      Maybe then I could learn to control my fear of Octabrains... ;-)

    • Re:Back off? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iabervon (1971)
      Actually, if the nasty things pop up when you're most freaked out, you'd probably just waste them, because you're primed to twitch. It would be a lot more effective if nasty things popped out when you relaxed, and innocuous environmental effects happened when you were freaked out.

      If you think about it as the game trying to maximize the ammo you use relative to the number of monsters it uses, and it gets to sneak a look at the snap decision you're going to make next, the obvious thing is to have nothing ther
  • "Playtesting with Tomb Raider and BloodRayne did yield a larger percentage of goo-covered monitors."
  • Huh ? what if something like this happens ? a little 'transistor' or 'capacitor' breaks somewhere and ?

    Will i just 'pop' while playing in the middle of my living room at 21.30 with a cup of tea in the holder ?

    Oh man. games have become already much tiring to play. I cant handle extra input from the game from now on. maybe im older now.

    "Concentrate" in order to drive ? we already do that while driving to work. Whats next ? Wearing gloves while cleaning in Sims 2 ?
  • Miracle of the Ages! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Marko DeBeeste (761376) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:45PM (#15201314)
    Called "Biofeedback" Been around since at least the fifties. See also "Polygraph"
    • Oh yeah the games you can play with a polygraph are great fun. My personal favourite is making up very suspisiously sounding alibi's to the police, demanding a lie detector test to "prove myself", and controlling my brain waves so the output forms a new Harrier Attack landscape, oh yes :-p

  • by Aqws (932918) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:46PM (#15201320) Journal
    make you feel pleasure everytime you let them bill your credit card in-game.

    You got to be kiding me, give these companies direct access to my brain! You must of had a lobotomy or something!
    • Yeah just like your mouse can make you dial expensive phone numbers when you're not looking.

      Apparently you're confusing the I and O parts of I/O.

  • by brucifer (12972) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @06:54PM (#15201360)
    Given how buggy games are at release these days, I shudder to think of the ramifications of neural interfaces connected to these. In the beginning when communication is one way, one could imagine the issues that arise from a stray thought. As it is, Oblivion crashes when I just exit the game. Now, add in an interface that reads my thoughts. I'd hate to see what happens when my mind strays away from the game and to something like, I don't know, my child crying or some such thing.

    Now when the communication goes both ways, things could get crazier. I finally sit down to play Duke Nukem Forever and 5 minutes in a hit a bug that makes me wet my pants start calling my left shoe "Herman". Ah technology.
    • MS would secretely be checking your brain for memories of legally purchasing your copy of windows, we're screwed!

      a bug that makes me wet my pants start calling my left shoe "Herman"

      Oh you're gonna start blaming that on the computer now?!!

  • by jgold03 (811521)
    The true test is if it can detect that I'm watching porn.
  • From TFA:

    In a racing game, for instance, players can drive at faster speeds if they concentrate on being calm. If the players becomes too nervous, the game can send feedback such as vibrations to the game controller that make it harder to drive a car.

    So when I come home to blow off some steam with a little racing, I can look forward to the game throwing off my reflexes and sending my car into spinouts because it knows that I'm anxious. Wow! Nothing relieves stress like being punished for it!

  • by Illbay (700081) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @07:03PM (#15201427) Journal
    Beyond the whiz-bang implications of this sort of technology lies the simple fact that this might interest people in games who are not normally disposed.

    I enjoy the occasional PC game, but I can't stand the notion that every time I sit down to play a new title I've got to learn a whole new set of commands.

    I'm not as familiar with console games--which you'd think would benefit from interface standardizaation, but they, too, seem to have a steep learning curve. When you're an old fart like myself, you just don't want to expend the time.

    A true, intuitive neural interface that would allow you to just sit and play without taking the time to learn a new interface, would overcome that barrier and perhaps enhance the market.

    IF it works, that is.

    • Recall previous studies (whose links I'm too lazy to dig up) where monkeys had to be trained with a real joystick and the neurons in their brain had to learn how to interface to the new toy.

      A true, intuitive neural interface that would allow you to just sit and play without taking the time to learn a new interface

      I'd say that the opposite is true. You would probably have to spend time teaching the neurons in your brain how to talk to the interface.
  • Already have it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by venicebeach (702856) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @07:08PM (#15201461) Homepage Journal
    We already have a pretty effective neural interface to video game consoles.

    They are called "hands".

  • Damn lazy wire heads!
  • I read this article and all I could think about was trying to play Track & Field [klov.com] -- forehead sweating, eyeballs and veins popping, face turning red all from mentally trying to whack those two buttons as fast as you can ... then your head does the whole Scanners thing. [imdb.com]
    • Totally dated myself right there! What was I thinking! I couldn't even reference a console or PC game, oh no! I had to use an ARCADE game that didn't even have joysticks! And then reference a movie that qualifies for Antique license plates!

      (sigh)

      Why can't /.'s lameness filter catch REAL lameness?

      (sigh)

  • by technoextreme (885694) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @07:21PM (#15201526)
    This game relied on biofeedback sensors to preform certain activities. Aparently, the game is designed to help you meditate. I can imagine it being used in other games. Imagine a first person shooter where you have to remain calm and collected or else something bad will happen to the game.
    http://www.stens-biofeedback.com/products/wild_div ine.htm [stens-biofeedback.com]
  • It seems to me that while external neural interface devices are useful, the real revolution will happen when industries band together and make true immersive gaming happen. Then, it won't simply be a home EEG or your thumbs controlling your in-game experience, but the complete facilities of your simulated "physical" body. I suppose it would take someone pretty bold to lead that revolution, though - not many people I've spoken to are eager to have their spines tapped into and their neurons commandeered by
  • It already existed in 1984.. Well, it kind of did, this one actually worked off of your muscles in your head but it sure reminded me of the Atari Mindlink that was vapourware in 1984.

    Picture: http://www.atarimuseum.com/videogames/consoles/260 0/mindlink.html [atarimuseum.com]
    Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Mindlink [wikipedia.org]
  • ...I think "move my hand" and my hand moves the joystick. Simple really.
  • Question: if brainwaves are used to control electronic devices, will the next step be that the electronic devices control the brainwaves?
    Another question: who has the intelectual property rights to my brainwaves?
    Still another question: are the thought police just around the corner?
  • This could cause an uneasy oscillation between terror and soothing gameplay. Imagine walking through Ravenhold in HL2 and all of the sudden a headcrab zombie lunges at you, claws grabbing for your throat... You jump in your seat and the game detects that you have freaked out. The zombie stops, visibly relaxes, then produces a bunch of flowers for you. Realising that it means you no harm, you relax. It then detects your newly found relaxed state and just before it gives you the flowers, it lunges for you, ta
  • The game could slow down, for instance, if the sensors pick up an increase in anxiety

    Bollocks! It will speed up if you show any such sign of weakness!

    Monsters will now be able to ambush you, literally, when you least expect it.

  • From a researcher (Score:3, Informative)

    by neuroking (204934) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @09:26PM (#15202018)
    I work in a lab, ding brain-computer interface experiments in monkeys and patients. I can say that the ability to ocntrol a video game with a non-invasive technique is a LONG way off. Right now we can get relatively decent 2D control using EEGs but there ae two basic problems. 1) All cheap (and most expensive) EEG caps cost serious money and require conductive compound between electrodes and the scalp. The procedure just to put on a basic 64 channel cap takes about 20-30 minutes. 2) The current techniques use modulations of oscillations of thousands of cells in the cortex that can vary for a million different reasons, and outside a strictly controlled demo, the applications are limited. In order to do this 'stress response' type command in a game, you would need additional electrodes to do things like measure skin conductance, because on its own, the EEG signals would be indistinguishable from one of the dimensions of movement. It is more likely that if you got stressed, you would turn left more, or some such oddity. The richness of data from non-invasive techniques does not afford itself to precise control. it is that simple. (I was approached about 3 years ago to work on a brain interface for a console to debute with a game version of Ender's Game. They said they wanted it under $100. I told them to come back in 15 years.)
  • Is this really news or this the kind of crap like they shot in the 50's where they claimed everyone would own a robot and dive a flying car by 1980.
  • Nethack (Score:3, Funny)

    by dhasenan (758719) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @10:26PM (#15202248)
    Now just imagine Nethack with one of those.
  • This is not a good thing.

    Games should be about setting goals and giving the player as much freedom as is sane to allow them to reach that goal. There are already too many limitations. I like linear games, but I demand a certain amount of... at least the illusion of choice. An example of forced choices are the Final Fantasy X combat tutorials -- only one menu option is selectable when your character "wants" to do something.

    However, FFX had a lot of freedom, too -- a zombie boss that could be killed by th
  • I'd love to have the sensation of pulling G's while flying a flight simulator.
  • Oh great (Score:2, Funny)

    by nickthisname (630860)

    Now Sony can rootkit our brains.

C for yourself.

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