Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thinking through video games

I was reading the Wall Street Journal in bed last night and came across a fascinating article: Mind Control for Videogames. You won't be able to see much there without a subscription, so here's the story from another source.

This is an interesting step forward in the world of brain-computer interfaces, over an almost-decade since the breakthrough news of the fellow who used only his brain to move a mouse cursor.

I'll be curious to see what happens with BCI in video games, and how quickly popular commercial adoption catches on. I mean, the novelty of it...I'm very curious to try something like this. Aren't you?

From the WSJ article:

Emotiv Systems...envisions players strapping on helmets with electrodes that read brain signals, allowing them to issue simple commands to enhance game play....Emotiv says its technology can distinguish between patterns of brain activity that can be designated to correspond to specific commands.

In a demonstration, Emotiv researcher Marco Della Torre donned a prototype headset and was able to move objects on a computer screen by visualizing pushing or lifting them....The technology also projected Mr. Della Torre's smiles, winks, or other facial expressions onto the face of an animated character, while software registered changes in his level of excitement.
Sony's Home service--which looks to be a souped-up version of Second Life--was also officially announced yesterday. I can't help but imagine how BCI technology might work in conjunction with virtual worlds. Seems like such a sci-fi notion, yes, but it's really not that hard to imagine that people will be able to use their minds to control their Second Life / Sony Home / whatever's next avatars.


1 comment:

hthth said...

Ah, seems we're more alike every time I scroll down your front page. I wrote an article on this with exactly the same sentiments (virtual world implications). You might be interested in the Emotiv video demo as well.