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Modded Nintendo Lets You Play Mario With Your Eyes

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the ever-more-lazy dept.

Input Devices 112

hasanabbas1987 writes "A group of engineers going by Waterloo Labs in Austin, Texas created a way of controlling an original NES by simply moving your eyes. By using electrodes placed around the eyes to track the movement of a players eyeballs, they were able to jury rig a Nintendo to accept eye movement as controller input." Quite the production on the video (attached below) too.

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Video games (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136558)

Now with even less exercise. That's right! No more tiresome finger muscle use.

Re:Video games (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33136582)

Consider paraplegics that might want to play video games, this would be great for them.

Even without that, it's an interesting demo of what our tech can do, although I think this might have been available for a while?

Re:Video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136654)

Consider paraplegics that might want to play video games, this would be great for them.

What, they're too good for a little exercise? Lazy bastards!



Yeah, I suppose that's terrible.

Re:Video games (4, Informative)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33136852)

Its a minor quibble, but paraplegic specifically refers to someone who has lost the use of their lower body, they generally can use their hands.

Re:Video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136864)

I thought it referred to someone without the use of 2 limbs, regardless of where those limbs happened to be attached?

Re:Video games (1)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | about 4 years ago | (#33137424)

Yes, but (*)plegic is almost always caused by spine injury, and it would be extremely rare to lose movement of the arms and not the legs, or any combination of one leg and one arm.
Think of the spine as a cable conduit, wherever you cut it, you will lose everything down from there.

Thats why, paraplegic is to be interpreted as losing the use of both legs.

Re:Video games (1)

atamido (1020905) | about 4 years ago | (#33138586)

Thats why, paraplegic is to be interpreted as losing the use of both legs.

From the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary entry for paraplegic:
: an individual affected with paraplegia

And from the entry for paraplegia:
: paralysis of the lower half of the body with involvement of both legs usually due to disease of or injury to the spinal cord

So it seems you are correct. While there are people who lack the use of their arms while maintaining the use of their legs, the term paraplegics does not appear to be generally applicable to them. So what do you call them?

Re:Video games (2, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | about 4 years ago | (#33139072)

Non-dextrous?

Re:Video games (1)

atamido (1020905) | about 4 years ago | (#33139908)

Awesome.

Re:Video games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33139366)

So what do you call them?

I don't know about you, but I call them useless fucking cripples. Well, I shouldn't say useless... they're still more useful than niggers.

Re:Video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136932)

Whatever, he meant quadriplegic.

Re:Video games (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33136966)

Yeah, that's why I quietly pointed out the meaning of the word he did use instead of ranting about what a stupid-face he was (also, I said its instead of it's, so I shouldn't get too uppity).

Re:Video games (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33137286)

he should have said that then, faggot

Re:Video games (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33137366)

You are correct.

I need to start a coffee habit.

Re:Video games (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 4 years ago | (#33137460)

Your sig makes that comment confusing...

Re:Video games (2, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33137668)

Real men drink coffee as black as the heart of Corporate America, so the sig is irrelevant.

Re:Video games (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33138370)

I like my coffee how I like my women, full of alcohol.

Re:Video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33138594)

I like my coffee how I like my women, full of alcohol.

I like my coffee how I like my women, ground up and in the freezer.

Re:Video games (1)

literaldeluxe (1527087) | about 4 years ago | (#33137368)

There are already a bunch of options for people who can't use their hands to play video games (assuming you meant quadriplegics). First result in Google provides a decent list: http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/1/AGS/AGS-head.htm [oneswitch.org.uk]

Re:Video games (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33137046)

I am surprised it is taking this long for people to realize a simple reality of computer use. Repetitive use, regardless of the for it takes, causes fatigue and even injury over time. They thought they were helping when they created the mouse. Well, they did, but it only saved time over using the cursor keys on the keyboard. People still get repetitive fatigue and injuries when a mouse is used. People started using voice recognition systems and surprise, surprise, their voices became strained! Fatigue, pain and injury associated with video game controllers is something most of us know about. Changing the controller to something that uses the eyes and even face muscles will unquestionably result in fatigue and possible injury as well.

As we continue to research the use of direct brain interfaces, we will find that this too will result in a form of fatigue and possible injury. There is a basic nature of the animal body that is continually overlooked. Repetitive use makes it tired and continuous fatigue results in injury. There needs to be a better way.

Re:Video games (1)

numbski (515011) | about 4 years ago | (#33137426)

So, just for the sake of furthering the discussion, what about weight lifting? Especially the guys that go pro at it? The difference I see immediately is that they take a mandatory break week about once every 6-8 weeks without lifting at all.

Perhaps it's just that we all don't take enough, long enough, breaks from the keyboard/mouse/game controller? Go a week every couple of months without touching any of them? I know it's rough for me - started have RSI pains in my fingertips and a few knuckles a few weeks ago. The concept of not going to work, and when at home, not using any type of keyboard, mouse, or trackpad is darn near an impossible task.

Instead of losing my job over it, I'm now taking as many breaks a day as I can and popping 4 ibuprofen tablets every 8 hours until I can find a better solution. I'm only 32 - I have a long career ahead of me unless this derails me so early. :(

Re:Video games (1)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | about 4 years ago | (#33137632)

There needs to be a better way.

Yes, maybe what we need is a system to naturally change form one way of control to another.
First using your hands, then your eyes, then your body... seems to me that has more to do with game and console design.
That would mean a lot of fun and no fatigue form repetitive tasks.

On the other hand, it would be funny, and maybe even good for health, seen your coworkers on their cubicles standing up and stretching when their mouse period is over, and they have to start to use their body yo control the cursor on screen.

Re:Video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33138022)

I am surprised it is taking this long for people to realize a simple reality of computer use. Repetitive use, regardless of the for it takes, causes fatigue and even injury over time. They thought they were helping when they created the mouse. Well, they did, but it only saved time over using the cursor keys on the keyboard. People still get repetitive fatigue and injuries when a mouse is used. People started using voice recognition systems and surprise, surprise, their voices became strained! Fatigue, pain and injury associated with video game controllers is something most of us know about. Changing the controller to something that uses the eyes and even face muscles will unquestionably result in fatigue and possible injury as well.

As we continue to research the use of direct brain interfaces, we will find that this too will result in a form of fatigue and possible injury. There is a basic nature of the animal body that is continually overlooked. Repetitive use makes it tired and continuous fatigue results in injury. There needs to be a better way.

Yeah, your body is not an infinitely durable thing. It can be injured or strained. Some of us accept that and take good care of it. Others wanna fret about it as though that constituted taking good care of it, as though worrying about it could do anything other than make it worse. You appear to be in the latter category.

Re:Video games (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33138626)

There needs to be a better way.

Multiple interfaces?

Eyes, Mouse, Keyboard, Speech to Text recognition, sophisticated Brain scanning, all at once - nothing gets overworked?

Just needs necessary algorithms to detect when people are switching off tasks

What? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33136606)

And my instructors at ITT wouldn't let me build a circuit that would work off the voltages that could be taken from the temples (I could pick up a signal using the o-scopes at school and figured I could build a circuit to go off that, instructors were worried about me being electrocuted (lolwut?!))

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136946)

no... they wanted you to do your lab assignment. Students think they know what's a good use of their time. If you had time to work on your own ideas then that's time you're not spending on theirs. You think you paid good money to learn what you want? No .. hahaa lol - you learn what they want you to learn, do you want they want you to do, or you're gone - thanks for the tuition.

Re:What? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33137198)

Actually, I wanted to do this as extra work. I had straight A's and time on my hands to do extra credit work and supposedly they had a policy of letting students pick their own final projects. This would have been epic. EPIC I tell you.

Re:What? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 4 years ago | (#33137768)

You know what is a hackerspace ? Go there and do that, make awesome think, attract awesome people. If you live in US, there is probably one near the place you live : http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/List_of_Hacker_Spaces [hackerspaces.org]

Re:What? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33139470)

That would be epic, thanks for the link!

The closest one is in Memphis [midsouthmakers.org] , but having a website to start off with is awesome. Again, thanks!

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33137038)

Yes, one way of explaining this would be different instructors or, as you so succinctly put it, "lolwut". Another would be different students. Maybe they took a long, hard look at the quality of your general output and said, "yeah, well, better not let that guy handle anything more dangerous than his angora sweater". Maybe the guys from TFA were better at this than you? Just asking.

Re:What? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33137164)

I had straight A's in class during the period I had approached my instructor about this.

It's possible that the guys in TFA are better at this than I am, and I'm willing to accept that.

It would have been easy enough to build a circuit that would have worked on such a weak signal and then built it up. I had all sorts of practical uses for such a circuit. I asked about signing a waiver saying ITT wouldn't be liable for my stupidity should it result in myself getting hurt and they still weren't interested (anything I built in school they claimed ownership of so they would have made a mint had I developed something cool like this).

Sounds awkward. (3, Insightful)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | about 4 years ago | (#33136638)

Not sure I see the usefulness. Do you have to look at the right side of the screen to move right? Seems like that would obscure your ability to observe and react to things on-screen. Article doesn't seem to want to load, unfortunately. Is this innovative because of the eye-movement tracking? I thought that was already possible for years now. Seems like a weird thing to track to control a videogame character. Work on that brainwave reader instead.

Now if they could -intercept- your eye movement signals before it actually reached your eyes, I could see applications in FPS games...Imagine staring statically at a screen that moved and turned based on where you WANTED to move your eyes, without your eyes actually moving.

Re:Sounds awkward. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 years ago | (#33136874)

I assume looking right for them to move right didn't worked well, because then they wouldn't see the screen.

So instead they let you "look left" to move right. Which doesn't work well either as long as your head is stationary but if you move your head to the right for the same amount atleast you will still be able to see the screen.

Not very impressive stuff though, reading off small electrical signals from the muscles around the eyes (I haven't watched more than a few seconds of the video and with no sound)? Interesting method / "proof of concept" but yeah. Then what? Over-worked example to hook it up to the NES. Maybe they hope someone will see it and pick up on the idea / find a useful purpose for it. Or just want more money from more publicity.

Re:Sounds awkward. (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 4 years ago | (#33136942)

Invert the axes and you have a form of head-tracking, which is somewhat less-awkward. Look at the character all the time and turn your head a bit to the right to move right, etc. You will still need to filter the input to account for the player glancing all over the screen.

My guess... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 4 years ago | (#33136984)

Actual application for this is in the interfaces for the handicapped.
The game is there just to point out how "easy" it is to use.

Personally, I find the interface a bit... unsettling. [youtube.com]
And the use of Mario is simply sacriligious.
Using Mario like that. He did no harm to anyone.
Well... except Bowser and his minions. But they were all bad.

Re:Sounds awkward. (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 4 years ago | (#33137180)

I always keep saying that eye-movement control inputs should be a last resort -- for people with things like ALS where you have nothing else left (in ALS you usually have blinks, though, and those are easier to reliably sense).

Eye movements partake in acquisition of visual input. If you have to control things with eye movements, you usually do it at the cost of not seeing what you'd ordinarily see.

As for the interception idea of yours: said screen would have to have a very good refresh rate. For visual exploration, our visual system is pretty much a snapshot taker. When your eyes move from point to point, they do it in a swift motion called a saccade. During a saccade, the image slides on the retina, and the blurred image is suppressed -- we don't get to see blurs several times per second. If you have a tracking fundus imager (it sees what's on the retina in spite of the eye moving around), a third person observer can see what's projected on the retina and see the blurs. A saccade triggers the masking, then once the image stabilizes, a snapshot is taken.

There are simple experiments to demonstrate this effect. You are in a moving train, and you look at the adjacent tracks. Once the train moves fast enough, the tracks are blurry. You then attempt to look forward and backward along the track. As you do, there are points at which the saccadic velocity exactly cancels the track's motion on the retina, and you see the track clearly -- ties and trash and all. Or look around a quickly spinning ceiling fan.

If you could intercept eye muscle signals while keeping the eyeball stable, you could certainly shorten the time it takes to acquire the image -- the saccadic masking is ready to cease and accept a stable image much before the saccade would end.

But you don't really need to cut any nerves. You can let the eyes move, and instead use a tracking projector system that projects stable image on the retina no matter how the eye moves. This IIRC has been done. You can estimate the saccadic motion's end position (saccadic amplitude) in the early 1/3 of the saccade, so you could probably shorten the time it takes from beginning of the saccade to acquisition of the image.

The only thing is: it would be pointless. It takes a good time (150+ ms) to process the image once it's acquired by the visual system's imager front-end, so even if your tracking projector could be omniscient w.r.t. saccadic target, and stabilize a target image on the retina with no latency at all, it wouldn't improve your visual system latency by a whole lot -- it'd be less than a factor of two.

Eye-movement control for the masses is a rather silly idea, I bin it with, say, having answer to the "meaning" of life (everyone feels like knowing that would be "good"). Both things are pretty useless -- the first one because it trades off something our visual system is good at (vision) for a much less accurate version of what our limbs can do better (providing control input). The latter -- well, what the heck would you do with an answer to that? Just think about it.

Re:Sounds awkward. (1)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | about 4 years ago | (#33137374)

Very informative, thank you. If you weren't responding to a post I'd already made in this thread, I'd mod you up.

Re:Sounds awkward. (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 4 years ago | (#33138148)

I agree this sounds awkward. But if you noticed, one guy was moving his head from side to side (which allows you to move your eyes while still looking directly at the screen). And having an action perform when you blink would be horrible. Could you imagine trying to keep your eyes from blinking until crucial moments, and what your eyes would feel like after an hour of that?

Leisure Suit Larry? (1)

vgbndkng (1806628) | about 4 years ago | (#33136646)

Oh my God the possibilities are endless.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry? (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33136720)

Talk about undressing her with your eyes!

Re:Leisure Suit Larry? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 years ago | (#33136896)

This is Starcraft-week

Eye-controlled zerg rush? Need more eyes!

Re:Leisure Suit Larry? (2, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33136806)

for porn!

Re:Leisure Suit Larry? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33136826)

<slashdotfail>There were supposed to be <aveq> tags around that...</slashdotfail>

Re:Leisure Suit Larry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33137316)

Uh. Isn't that more like <ByOhTekFail>, considering there's no way to submit a comment without previewing it first?

Re:Leisure Suit Larry? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 4 years ago | (#33137654)

it means I fail at slashdot

Games for disabled people (1)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | about 4 years ago | (#33136750)

I always thought how sad it is that people with certain disabilities can't experience gaming, even thought it wouldn't take much to make those experiences available to them. In this specific case it isn't so easy, but I can't see why there aren't adventure games for blind people, as an example.

Re:Games for disabled people (2, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33136794)

While I have no problems with making games accessible to those with handicaps, video games are a visual thing (as hinted at in the descriptive word "video"). How would you make a video game for a person who cannot process visual cues or input?

Re:Games for disabled people (1)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | about 4 years ago | (#33137674)

One word (with several versions)

Zork!

Re:Games for disabled people (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33138528)

I think this is one of those moments where you have to draw the distinction between video-based and text-based games. To borrow from what DarkKnightRadick said, the difference is in how the cues are given. A text-based game's output can easily be converted to audio but to my knowledge, the same can't be done for a video-based game.

Zork can be played purely with a screen reader or text-to-speech software, the video component isn't necessary to know what the game is telling you, MUDs and MUSHes are also very popular with the vision-impaired for the same reason, but those same people wouldn't be able to play a game where seeing what's happening is an integral component (i.e. an FPS).

Re:Games for disabled people (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33139438)

After I hit submit for my original post, I thought about text-based games but since I did give the caveat of "video" in my response, I didn't think a follow up was necessary. Apparently it was.

Thanks for refining my answer. (:

Re:Games for disabled people (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about 4 years ago | (#33139422)

I have Zork I, II, and III (:

Text adventures (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33136836)

I can't see why there aren't adventure games for blind people, as an example.

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.

Re:Text adventures (1)

starsky51 (959750) | about 4 years ago | (#33137370)

> LOOK

Re:Text adventures (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33137644)

You wake up. The room is spinning very gently round your head. Or at least it
would be if you could see it which you can't.

It is pitch black.

>obviously, you insensitive clod. i'm blind.
I don't know the word "obviously".

>feel around
That sentence isn't one I recognise.

>listen
What do you want to listen to?

>listen to environment
I don't know the word "environment".

>echolocate
I don't know the word "echolocate".

>examine
What do you want to examine?

>examine surroundings
I don't know the word "surroundings".

>examine vicinity
I don't know the word "vicinity".

>get up
Very difficult, but you manage it. The room is still spinning. It dips and sways
a little.

>get my gown
It's too dark to see!

>but i know where it is. i remember stuff like this.
I don't know the word "know".

>you just used it yourself!
I don't know the word "you".

>ok. what am i supposed to do?
You sound rather positive.

I don't know the word "supposed".

>help?
I don't know the word "help?".

>quit
We are about to give you your score. Put on your peril-sensitive sunglasses now.

Your score is 0 of a possible 400, in 2 turns.

Re:Text adventures (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | about 4 years ago | (#33139246)

Also on the subject, did anyone actually come up with the idea to put the dangly bit in their advanced tea substitute and think that they were actually doing what they were supposed to?

Re:Games for disabled people (5, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 4 years ago | (#33136890)

I get the feeling I'm playing with disabled people all the time when I log into WoW

Re:Games for disabled people (1)

sheehaje (240093) | about 4 years ago | (#33137984)

WoW is mostly kids, so yes, they disabled because they are brain damaged. Bill Cosby says so. [youtube.com]

Re:Games for disabled people (2, Informative)

cgomezr (1074699) | about 4 years ago | (#33136986)

Fortunately, there are. Virtually all modern text adventures (or interactive fiction, as people like to call them now) can be played by blind people that use screen readers, like most programs that output text to a terminal or text area.

Re:Games for disabled people (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33141526)

I always thought how sad it is that people with certain disabilities can't experience gaming

Gaming is the least of life's pleasures people with certain disabilities can't experience. There are lots of things people can't experience that make me far mor sympathetic.

Then again, I grew up in a world where videogames didn't exist. Yeah, I like them (put a lot of quarters in machines in the late '70s and early '80s, and had tons on my PC in the '90s), but there are far more pleasurable things out there that people with certain disabilities can't do than gaming.

Imagine becoming a quadraplegic at age 12. You would never ever get to experience sex. Or imagine being blind...

Nevar Forget (5, Funny)

yerktoader (413167) | about 4 years ago | (#33136790)

I don't care if they get Fred Savage and Jenny Lewis to make a sequel to The Wizard, I'm not saving up my allowance for six months to buy a goddamned Power Glove for my eyes.

Re:Nevar Forget (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | about 4 years ago | (#33137022)

By the time those six months are up a Chinese version out at 20% the price will be up on eBay near you.

Tech so advanced... (1)

byersjus (987526) | about 4 years ago | (#33136808)

...they turned Mario 2 into 1.

They should pick up the pace... (5, Funny)

underqualified (1318035) | about 4 years ago | (#33136812)

Stephen Hawking deserves to play StarCraft 2.

eye-tracking mouse? (1)

CPerdue (1376115) | about 4 years ago | (#33136850)

I keep wishing for a hands-free mouse. Taping electrodes to your face every day at work--won't, but glasses (or something using your webcam) might. Anyone seen something like this?

Re:eye-tracking mouse? (2, Funny)

flahwho (1243110) | about 4 years ago | (#33136978)

I keep wishing for a hands-free mouse. Taping electrodes to your face every day at work--won't, but glasses (or something using your webcam) might. Anyone seen something like this?

I haven't seen anything because these annoying electrodes are glued to my eyes.

Re:eye-tracking mouse? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 4 years ago | (#33138494)

I've looked into this a bit a little while ago there wasn't anything in the general consumer field but there were a few companies who had commercial products. As for practicality there are some problems first while eye tracking is amazing when it comes to making very fast gross movements it falls apart when it comes to fine movements; second there is the Midas Touch problem how do you control what a click is, blinking doesn't really work too well because we do it all the time w/o thinking.

That being said I'd still love to have one.

Re:eye-tracking mouse? (1)

literaldeluxe (1527087) | about 4 years ago | (#33139994)

while eye tracking is amazing when it comes to making very fast gross movements it falls apart when it comes to fine movements

Eye trackers have been tracking fine movements for decades. In the last 5-10 years, the equipment has gotten smaller, faster, and easier to use. The problem isn't the tracking, it's the eyes. Your eyes jump around approximately 3-4 times per second, and they don't always go where you think they do. Due to the way the visual system works, the mouse/cursor would just jump around the screen every few hundred milliseconds, and would serve as more of a distraction than an aide. Very minor calibration issues also cause problems if the mouse/cursor is displayed in real time; being off even a few pixels (which is pretty much guaranteed) results in the user "following" the cursor around on the screen.

good idea, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136880)

...wouldn't it be a bit easier if they rigged it so you can jump by moving your head upwards while keeping your eyes fixed on the screen?

Side effects? (3, Insightful)

that IT girl (864406) | about 4 years ago | (#33136902)

If you thought gaming for too long gave you headaches before, think about how this would be after a relatively short amount of time.

Great... (2, Insightful)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | about 4 years ago | (#33136926)

A control method that requires you to look away from the screen. The possibilities are endless indeed.

thank god for science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136930)

cause no one has ever tracked eye movement with a webcam and did something with that data

QUIT PISSING MONEY AWAY ON SHIT WE ALREADY KNOW

End of video had it right. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136954)

The guy at the end of the video was moving his head whilst keeping his eyes fixed on the screen. It would probably be much easier to inverse the inputs and control the character by pointing your face in the direction you want the character to go, rather than pointing your eyes.

Re:End of video had it right. (1)

literaldeluxe (1527087) | about 4 years ago | (#33137088)

That would promake you very dizzy, would require far more effort than using your hands, and would be likely to cause neck injuries. I don't see much future in this, as mouth controls already exist for people who don't have the use of their hands to play video games. It was a great project for students to learn, but it's unlikely to have any practical use outside the lab.

Re:End of video had it right. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33137372)

I used to play "Descent" and its sequels a lot. Funny thing was, I was unaware of how much I was moving around trying to accept the "zero-gravity 3D" environment that "Descent" used. My wife, on the other hand, was invariably amused at how much I'd move around playing that game.

My point is that you probably aren't exactly sitting still playing the games you are today anyway. In fact, many people are probably moving their heads unconsciously in much the same manner as they would to control a game like this, while incurring wrist injury trying to control the game using an unnatural movement.

"Half Life" would be awesome standing up with head-movement detection to handle perspective, foot-motion detection to handle moving around, and a WiiMote-type thingie strapped to your right wrist to aim and fire the gun or swing the crowbar. You'd get one hell of a workout too.

I'm disappointed ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33136974)

I'm disappointed that a Futurama reference to the "eyePhone" has not been submitted and modded up ... come on slashdot ... wake up!!

eyeNES(tm)

Re:I'm disappointed ... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33137392)

"Hey, why's it called the eyePhone anyway?"
"I'll explain after I install it."
(loud scream)... "Cool..."

At Last... (1)

anstice8 (1742206) | about 4 years ago | (#33137184)

At last! quadriplegics can play mario!

Possibly Fake? (3, Informative)

Becausegodhasmademe (861067) | about 4 years ago | (#33137240)

In the NES is a Super Mario Bros II cartridge, however the game being played on the TV is Super Mario Bros I. If this part is faked, I wonder what else in this story is fraudulent.

Re:Possibly Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33138794)

Another question (since I can't WTFA with youtube/video blocked at work):

What 'hacking' of an NES would be required? From what I recall, the NES input pin is basically a Serial port with some power and a strobe line. Call the 'strobe' via a read/write to a specific bit of memory, controller pushes back a bit each time, indicating specific data (up is held, A is held, Select is held, others are not).

So... it wouldn't be too difficult to make some chip/software to handle spitting out of that information whenever it is asked. Granted, they'd have to have the hardware for the eyes to determine that you're looking left/right or whatever to handle the 8 possible inputs of a regular NES controller.

Side note: this is probably how the Power Glove worked for most games. You punch in the code, it translates distance, turns, and fingerbends into the proper button presses the NES is expecting. Possibly the ONLY game that did more than this was Super Glove Ball. Somehow, it transmitted X, Y, and Z coordinates, as well as the 'grab state'. The last is probably no different from A and B being held, but it is nifty that you could actually grab into the scene and grab the ball, pull back, then 'fling' it with your hand to break out the bricks. It was an neat effect with potential, especially for when it was released.

Re:Possibly Fake? (1)

xthor (625227) | about 4 years ago | (#33139990)

In the NES is a Super Mario Bros II cartridge, however the game being played on the TV is Super Mario Bros I. If this part is faked, I wonder what else in this story is fraudulent.

I may be wrong, but I think the version they are playing in the video may be this version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_Bros.:_The_Lost_Levels [wikipedia.org]

Re:Possibly Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33142194)

So congratulations on observing a single portion of the video and making an immediate assumption! If you had paid attention to the video at all they used both a Super Mario Bros II and Super Mario Bros Cartridge throughout the test of the device. Because one test shows one cartridge and another shows only video of a different game you don't think they might have switched cartridges and oh, I don't know, edited the video to make it entertaining? Way to go captain obvious. One gold star for you. Oh, and quit with the conspiracy theories people, seriously?

Re:Possibly Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33142356)

Just to make sure you don't miss it, turn the resolution up at 0:57 and you can clearly see the cartridge in the NES is Super Mario Bros.

Re:Possibly Fake? (1)

mmaniaci (1200061) | about 4 years ago | (#33142244)

My guess is that they were actually using an NES emulator.

Obligatory BTTF2 Quote (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 4 years ago | (#33137302)

"You mean you have to use your hands?" -video game kid1

"That's like a baby's toy!" -video game kid 2

"Nope! Not anymore!" -Waterloo Labs Engineer

no electrodes necessary (1)

jcgam69 (994690) | about 4 years ago | (#33137440)

Here's a product that will allow mouse control with the eyes and requires no electrodes: http://www.enablemart.com/Catalog/Head-Eye-Controlled-Input/EyeTech-TM3 [enablemart.com]

Re:no electrodes necessary (1)

CPerdue (1376115) | about 4 years ago | (#33137590)

YIKES!! $10,000. Again... $20 webcam sounds better.

Why electrodes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33137494)

Why not eye tracking? http://www.codeproject.com/KB/cpp/TrackEye.aspx

Waterloo Labs (2, Interesting)

pinkushun (1467193) | about 4 years ago | (#33137534)

These guys are sharp and innovative. They're the same guys who used accelerometers on a wooden panel wall, and projected a FPS onto the wall, allowing you to play with real guns, air rifles, and even shovels. [slashdot.org]

Modded Nintendo? Pirates!! (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 4 years ago | (#33137558)

You damn well know the only reason someone would modify a computer to get it to do what they want, is so they can play pirated games. And if they're telling people what they did, isn't that contributory infringement?

There's also the DMCA aspects. Requiring the hand-controller dongle in order to work, is a technological measure that limits access to the game, which this dude is circumventing.

Insert Coins... (1)

athe!st (1782368) | about 4 years ago | (#33137686)

...To Release Eyes

Dejavu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33137696)

Opera introduced facial gestures [opera.com] long ago!

Sweet! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 years ago | (#33137864)

Modded Nintendo Lets You Play Mario With Your Eyes

Sweet! Now I can play with 0 hands on the controller when I'm movin' that big, sexy, hairy beast all over the screen!

Awesome but impractical? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | about 4 years ago | (#33138208)

This is an awesome hack, but I would imagine it's nearly impossible to play a videogame by moving your eyes like that. Your eyes are already busy, dedicated to seeing stuff. And usually you probably are staring at the thing you need to avoid/shoot, not looking to where your game avatar needs to go. And even if you are looking where you're supposed to go next, probably this doesn't involve large-scale eyeball motion like "look up at the ceiling" to go up when you really just need to move a few sprite blocks up.

Re:Awesome but impractical? (1)

pezpunk (205653) | about 4 years ago | (#33139216)

meanwhile, we've got these strange finger things at the end of our upper appendages that almost look as if they spent the last million years or so perfecting the art of precise manipulation and physical coordination. adapting the eyes to accomplish the same job is simply using the wrong tool.

MY EYES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33138396)

THE GOGGLES, THEY ... wait ... hey, I'm playing Super Mario Brothers with these things... COOL!

Oh, the cacophony! (1)

bynary (827120) | about 4 years ago | (#33138670)

That stupid drum loop paired with the Super Mario Bros. theme was making my ears bleed.

Maybe its just me (1)

Finerva (1822374) | about 4 years ago | (#33138706)

But any further application of this is just lost on me, unless 8-bit side scrollers come back in full force. Howerver if this is a step in the direction of true neural interfaces I am all in.

survival horror (1)

sorak (246725) | about 4 years ago | (#33140076)

If it becomes affordable, they could flip the concept around and use it in survival horror games to determine where the next enemy comes from, and when to strike. (Too much eye movement, let things calm down...Ok, the player seems a little too relaxed, have something nasty jump out at him).

yuo Fail I$t... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33140654)

Small "flaw" in the system (1)

holiggan (522846) | about 4 years ago | (#33143186)

This sure looks great, no doubt about it!

However, I don't that having to actually look up and down for the up and down movement is very practical, at least for games. That split second that your eyes move up or down, away from the screen, can make all the difference in a game. The side movement is not a big problem, because we can easilly tilt the head side by side, keeping the eyeballs focused in front of the screen (like a guy in the video did). It's the up and down movement that is tricky.

Even so, this is really impressive, and with possible applications beyond the gaming realm, like interaction interfaces with all sorts of devices, for disabled or even healthy people. Very promising indeed.

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