Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Return of Soon gamers won't even have to give their thumbs a workout!

An Australian company is gearing up to release a computer headset that allows people to control video games using only the power of their minds.

Emotiv Systems, founded by four Australian scientists in 2003, will release the $US299 ($315) EPOC headset on the US market this year. Australians will be able to order it online.

Featuring 14 sensors that measure electrical impulses from the brain, the headset - which plugs into the PC's USB port - will enable games to register facial expressions, emotions and even cognitive thoughts, allowing players to perform in-game actions just by visualising them.

The headset works in a similar way to voice recognition, in that it must first be calibrated using Emotiv's software to recognise patterns in the user's electrical brain impulses, which are used to perform 30 preset actions.

When the player performs those same thoughts in the game the software knows to associate them with the correct action, such as rotate object or push object.

The ability to control what your character is doing just by thinking about it is interesting. But perhaps the coolest part of the article discusses the possibility of the mood-reading part of the hardware:
The headset could also detect the players' emotions - whether they're bored, angry, engaged, happy, stressed, etc - and adjust difficulty levels, in-game music and the game environment accordingly.

Characters could also react to a player's emotional cues.

In horror-themed games, enemies could intelligently select the perfect time to startle a player based on how they feel, rather than having opponents in the same positions every time a mission is reloaded.

Wouldn't that be awesome?? Tell me it would not be, and I will ban you for being a filthy liar!

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