Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bringing Neurofeedback Gaming To the Masses

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the kill-with-a-single-thought dept.

Input Devices 37

New submitter captioning writes "The Los Angeles Times reports on Throw Trucks With Your Mind, a multiplayer first-person 'gunless shooter' that uses an inexpensive, wireless EEG (electroencephalograph) headset to measure players' brainwaves and move virtual objects on screen. Depending on the strength of players' beta waves (emitted while concentrating), players toss small items like crates or catapult objects like trucks. Players can also draw things toward them by relaxing (and emitting alpha waves). Greater relaxation results in more power as well, so players learn quickly to be careful when attracting trucks. The success of Throw Trucks could lead to stronger demand for neural feedback games worldwide."

cancel ×

37 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Neurosky headset (4, Interesting)

wimpy (39015) | about a year ago | (#43128049)

I have such a Neurosky headset but find it of no use - the output seems to be just random. Whether meditating, concentrating very hard or playing a game, it is always fluctuating in a similar pattern. What does work is eye blinking, but that is just picking up the muscle contraction and not the brainwaves.

Re:Neurosky headset (4, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#43128193)

The Neroskys, as EEG headsets, are crap. You'd be lucky to pick up anything other than forehead muscle contractions. The Emotive EPOC isn't half bad, and is probably the cheapest way to get an actually functional EEG headset that you don't have to build yourself. If you want to do any actual controlling of things with conscious intent, it's the bare minimum, but you'd be better off with a full electrode mesh and some proper instrumentation amplifiers, but that's not going to be anywhere close to cheap or easy to work with without a good amount of prior knowledge.

This "Throw Trucks With Your Mind" thing is a waste of money, unless you really want to play "Sometimes Throw Trucks With Your Forehead".

Re:Neurosky headset (2)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a year ago | (#43129379)

This [ted.com] ted talk was from 2010. Looks simple and like it works really well. Not sure why you'd need a "full electrode mesh." Not sure what the hell's taking it so long either.

Re:Neurosky headset (2)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#43129729)

Not sure why you'd need a "full electrode mesh."

Because EEG is a measure of voltage from outside of the skull. With just two electrodes, the best you can possibly measure is whether the average of all anterior-posterior (front-back) aligned neurons is mostly in one direction or the other. Laterally oriented neurons are ignored, and you have no idea what's going on in different regions.
As you add electrodes, you resolution increases and you can start to guess whether activity is occurring in which quadrant of the brain. Add some more, and you might even be guess as to which region of the brain activity is occurring in.
It's more like a tomographic measurement than 'stuff is occurring under this electrode': you can only measure the relative voltage difference between pairs of electrodes, and to pick out signals from one area you need to measure the signals from the entire brain to cancel that out.

Re:Neurosky headset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129393)

Have you played the game? I have, and I can honestly say that it wasn't forehead contractions. I was definitely able to control both the throwing and the levitating with different types of concentration.

Perhaps he is better at processing the signal from the noise than you are, but whatever he was doing it really worked.

I agree it is a waste of money in the sense that ALL games are a waste of money, but having tried his game I can honestly say that it worked.

Re:Neurosky headset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129629)

I haven't played, Don't know the fun.
floor spring [bangliwj.net] , glass door lock [bangliwj.net] , shower hinge [bangliwj.net]

Re:Neurosky headset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130431)

Have you played the game? I have, and I can honestly say that it wasn't forehead contractions. I was definitely able to control both the throwing and the levitating with different types of concentration.

Most people are not able to dis-associate their facial muscles from their thoughts. You're most likely simply not aware that you're flexing your muscles in the same pattern each time you try doing the same thing. In the poker world this is the mechanism we refer to as a "tell".

While this type of gear is exciting, this particular example is too "low-resolution" to actually do what it claims just by picking up brain activity. If it was at all reliable it would already be sold as a medical device to people who are completely paralyzed. It would be put on the heads of people who have no ability to control even their facial muscles, and work work. But it isn't, because it doesn't... it's measuring what is outside your skull, not what is coming from inside it.

Re:Neurosky headset (3, Interesting)

drkim (1559875) | about a year ago | (#43129261)

I've got the OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator Review (NIA) and it works fairly well for gaming.
As far as I can tell, it does pick up muscle contractions (eyebrow raising) better than brain activity. Takes a lot of training, too.

I had a lot of intermittent reading trouble with it, until I started smearing the sensors with electrode paste, then I got more consistent results.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/649 [hardwaresecrets.com]

Re:Neurosky headset (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129609)

I can fully agree with this. I and three friends were unable to get any kind of output which was not noise out of it (blinking worked kind of, though).
Additionally the Mindwave Mobile headset is extremely uncomfortable to wear and also you look like a dork with it, but with google glasses comming that might become mainstream.

Re:Neurosky headset (1)

Keith111 (1862190) | about a year ago | (#43140983)

I find its fairly easy to get them fixed on one or the other, but I find it impossible to make them go up and down as a high rate of speed like I would need in a game.

Ingres integration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43128109)

I seriously hope that ingres will integrate this technology. That'd be freaking cool beyond words.

Re:Ingres integration (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43128215)

Ingres, the RDBMS? That *would* be awesome, although in a very scary way.

I adopted early and managed to save money! (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43128125)

I find that, using only the nearest wall and/or bystander and my fists I am able to get incredibly realistic haptic feedback based on my brain's state. Even better, the graphics are amazing(except when I try to play it in the bar, not sure if there is a hardware compatibility problem)!

Re:I adopted early and managed to save money! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129623)

I tried this RL game as well, but it sucked. Grinding money takes like 8 hours a day every day. It's like a day job.
The interface sucks too. I can never find my keyring in the inventory.

Hungarians (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43128139)

Are dirty stupid gypsies.

Call me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43128145)

For a good time... Free voice sex... +45 91 26 36 22

They are recording the wrong signals (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43128183)

If neural controllers want to ever become practical, they should start recording signals from the cerebellum, the region of the brain responsible for motor control.

Re:They are recording the wrong signals (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43128699)

While the cerebellum is certainly involved in motor control, you cannot really say that it is 'responsible.' Most researchers studying how the human nervous system controls movement accept that the cerebellum is involved in feedback error correction, motor learning, and possibly feed-forward modulation of control to compensate for changes in body orientation. This is why people with cerebellar damage present with cerebellar ataxia [wikipedia.org] rather than loss of the ability to move.

Controlling external objects based on cerebellar EEG is further complicated by the fact that the cerebellum is a deep structure, and it is nearly impossible to actually record EEG from this tissue. The primary motor cortex on the other hand, is well known as the cortical site where motor commands originate, and is conveniently located on the superficial surface of the cortex in a strip running approximately from ear to ear. This makes the motor cortex a much more attractive target than the cerebellum.

Re:They are recording the wrong signals (1)

bullale (2441834) | about a year ago | (#43129653)

No mod points. This needs to be modded down and/or the other reply modded up.

Psycho training? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year ago | (#43128233)

So the calmer you are in what would normally be an adrenaline producing situation, the better you are at the game? That's going to produce some scary people.

Re:Psycho training? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43128653)

Based on my experience with L.A. neurofeedback providers, some of the people using and pushing neurofeedback are already scary.

Some aspects of brain function can be controlled consciously, some can't because they're not observable (much like in control systems theory). Make them observable and they become controllable. But why were they subconscious, out of reach of the conscious mind, to start with? Do you understand the ramifications of turning all of these new knobs? Of course all activity conditions brain activity, but neurfofeedback conditions it in a way that was not possible previously.

Since a normally functioning brain is what tells you whether you're doing something harmful to your body, how do you know whether your doing something harmful when you start mucking with the function of your brain? How can you tell when you're addicted to neurofeedback or driving yourself subtly insane? Would you be able to stop even if you could see it?

An honest provider of neurofeedback equipment would at least attempt to ask those questions, and offer some reasonable warning or guidance to their customers, so that they can judge whether they're being harmed or helped. But every enterprise needs income. Better not to scare people off with warnings. Or better yet, use the risks of neurofeedback to justify expensive training, along with some kind of equivalent of DRM. Then if people get themselves into obsessive trouble with it you can really cash in.

In most ways I'm a 'live free or die' kind of person and hate government meddling. My preference would be for everything to come with a reasonably informative warning label, and if you fuck yourself up with it that's your problem. But that's not happening, and 'the market' doesn't correct itself very effectively when people are being misled about what they're buying. Time for a bit more FDA oversight in my opinion.

Re:Psycho training? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129385)

If it weren't for the L.A. in your post I would call this FUD, but your right, L.A. people ARE scary and fucking with our brains.

Re:Psycho training? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130519)

Some aspects of brain function can be controlled consciously, some can't because they're not observable (much like in control systems theory). Make them observable and they become controllable. But why were they subconscious, out of reach of the conscious mind, to start with? Do you understand the ramifications of turning all of these new knobs? Of course all activity conditions brain activity, but neurfofeedback conditions it in a way that was not possible previously.

Not true at all. This is exactly what has been done for thousands upon thousands of years by various meditative religious disciplines, martial arts schools, professional athletes, public entertainers, con men, etc. No "new knobs" are being turned. All it is doing is learning to control yourself so you're not simply reacting to stimuli. This is what allows a quarterback to remain calm while several large men are bearing down on him, what allows a sniper to make a kill while bullets and bombs explode all around. It's called Focus, among other things, and all a neurofeedback device does is allow you to see the results directly instead of intuitively and indirectly.
So settle down. Try some meditation and relaxation exercises, you sound like you could benefit from them.

Re:Psycho training? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129559)

So the calmer you are in what would normally be an adrenaline producing situation, the better you are at the game? That's going to produce some scary people.

Perhaps that helps explains some Scientologists. If you train yourself to be so calm that you are "clear" on an E-meter when someone is asking you highly stressful questions, that might create some similarly scary people.

Posting Anon for obvious reasons...

Great (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about a year ago | (#43128457)

And I just lost my Ono-Sendai Cyberspace 7 to Mitsubishi adapter plugs.

Re:Great (1)

ZombieThoughts (1735956) | about a year ago | (#43129153)

Love this. I'd be happy with an Aleph.

There's an easier way... (2)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#43128611)

What's wrong with just good old fashioned GSR? They're less complicated, less expensive, and (compared to cheap EEG's) accurate and reliable.

I guess technically you can do less with than with a working EEG, but I've yet to see a usable and inexpensive home model. (Strange, as the average electronics hobbyist can build a less expensive and more reliable two-channel EEG in an afternoon.)

Discount T-Shirt,belt,hat,sunglasses sale (-1, Offtopic)

xiuchuni (2861613) | about a year ago | (#43128831)

The website wholesale and retail for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat,glasses and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the price is competitive, after the payment, can ship within short time. the goods are shipping by air express, such as EMS,DHL,the shipping time is in 5-7 business days ! YOU MUST NOT MISS IT http://www.sport3trade.net/ [sport3trade.net] Discount jordan shoes $35, Air max shoes $35, Nike/shox $35, handbags $36, Sunglasses $16, New era cap $12, wallet $19, belt $18, jewelry $15, T-shirts $20, DG Jeans $36, (NFL MLB NBA NHL) jerseys $25, http://www.sport3trade.net/ [sport3trade.net]

Got a hacksaw? (1)

dodex1k (2712675) | about a year ago | (#43129175)

Even with an invasive EEG, its pretty difficult to accurately measure brain activity. With a dry EEG, you're just wasting your time. Until gamers are ready to crack open their skulls to get more precise input, I think this one isn't going to happen.

What about a #75 finger drill and a scalpel? (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about a year ago | (#43135573)

I suppose the implanted conductors could have a fine gauge, like individual strands of earbud wire, but what sort of connector body would that take?

I met Lat on CalTrain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129351)

...just the other day, and I can honestly say that his game works. I have no idea what kind of processing he is doing on the data coming from the headset, but it did in fact require concentration and calm to control the various actions in the game. After playing the game I backed his Kickstarter, just because I thought it was fun to play on the Train and because Lat was such a cool guy.

Cheaters ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129497)

Bloody cheaters, stop using your brains to shoot me!
Use your mouse !

great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129633)

I'd be happy with an Aleph.
floor spring [bangliwj.net]

great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129651)

They're less complicated, less expensive, and (compared to cheap EEG's) accurate and reliable. http://www.bangliwj.net [bangliwj.net]

boring, you can't do it with echo waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129933)

The problem described by these companies is that you can only get echoes and not the real deal. Echoes can easily be misinterpreted and it can't be used for gaming. The only way these interpreters can be used for gaming is if one would have an implant which does exist but not meant for gaming. These products have existed for some time now, and you can buy them with up to 7 programmable actions but you could be thinking of something different but that different thing has an echo similar to the action so it misinterprets it as an action. In other words, this device will fail, not just because it will fail at understanding the brain accurately but because of its laggish nature.

I've tried the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132359)

The EEG headset has to be worn about as uncomfortably as possible (a dent in my forehead for hours afterwards), but it does work. It takes a LOT of beta to throw trucks, although there were bricks in the game which were much easier. The "lift" mechanic seemed a bit broken too - it lifts at the point in the crosshairs, so it's really easy to get an object into a perpetual end-over-end flip.

But when you actually get the thing going, it's really, REALLY cool. This is as close as most people will ever get to being a Jedi.

Tangential EEG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43135457)

Any one here familiar with the EEG-SMT? https://www.olimex.com/Products/EEG/OpenEEG/EEG-SMT/

Admittedly I'm not an EE so who here could verify how good (if any) it is?

Many thanks in advance.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>