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'Mind Gaming' Could Enter Market This Year

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the yeah-right-it-will dept.

Input Devices 154

An anonymous reader writes "In an adapted version of the Harry Potter video game, players lift boulders and throw lightning bolts using only their minds. Just as physical movement changed the interface of gaming with Nintendo's Wii, the power of the mind may be the next big thing in video games. And it may come soon. Emotiv, a company based in San Francisco, says its mind-control headsets will be on shelves later this year, along with a host of novel "biofeedback" games developed by its partners. Several other companies — including EmSense in Monterey, California; NeuroSky in San Jose, California; and Hitachi in Tokyo — are also developing technology to detect players brainwaves and use them in next-gen video games."

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Lawsuits (4, Interesting)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22828938)

This tech sounds like a lot of fun, but I am imagining that the parents of the first kid to blow a gasket trying the brain-wave equivalent of button-mashing are going to be able to bring some interesting court action.

Re:Lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829340)

Why would having this headset on make you any more likely to "blow a gasket" than you normally would be? I don't think that intense concentration usually has that kind of effect.

Re:Lawsuits (2, Interesting)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829590)

Have you seen Scanners? (Joke)

I don't know what players will be required to 'do' when using this device, but if it's different to normal gaming, normal rules will not apply.

Regardless, I wasn't necessarily saying that the headset will cause any problems, but that parents may well attempt to blame any problems that do occur on that scary/frankensteiny/mind-reading helmet.

Some people distrust scientists you know. Yet others, in their grief, try to blame anything that might possibly have caused their problems. In the UK, parents of autistic kids have been very shrill on the supposed link between inoculations and their children's condition, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It was enough to reduce 'herd immunity' to diseases such as measles to the extent that localized epidemics, unheard of in decades, have occurred (causing much more damage than the jabs themselves). Many others claim to be debilitated by wifi, whilst being unable to identify when wifi systems are switched on (these unfortunate dears are cruelly forced to, er, chill at home on full sick pay).

If such things can happen to such obviously positive inventions as inoculations, I think that helmets that measure and encourage the manipulation of kiddies' brain waves could plausibly become targets too.

Re:Lawsuits (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830382)

The mind control games will be fun, but most people will get turned off by the pulsing vein in the forehead and the constant nose bleeds.

Re:Lawsuits (2, Funny)

Columcille (88542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831040)

How are these mind control games different than other games? We already know that all games control the minds of kids.

Re:Lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829702)

Not something we have to worry about for a few years. AFAIK, the most advanced neural interfaces (the ones DARPA is working on) haven't gotten much more advanced than "Up or Down" and even that requires serious concentration and practice. Seems like a lot of work and money just to play PONG.

This sounds like a scam money-grab. They should team up with the Phantom console guys. The perfect control interface for Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Lawsuits (2, Interesting)

Deadfyre_Deadsoul (1193759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830136)

We will be able to pvp with our ears & eyelashes in 5 years times!!

I cant wait.

In all seriousness, this does rock, we have only been waiting for this for years now. next step. Holodecks.

How long before the feds want the log files...? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831450)

I'm sure the feds would love to mine kids brainwaves to find the future criminals.

It's all in the name of National Security.

The Power Glove seemed cool too (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22828964)

Not all new input devices will meet with success. There was a lot of hype surrounding the release of Nintendo's Power Glove, and in the end it was used for only a few games and then abandoned.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22828992)

Mod parent up. I remember some VR headsets/"glasses" being released in the late '90s as well and it sucked (remember Gameboy VR too?). Just because a company releases something does not mean the solution is good or even really works well at all.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (4, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829404)

Given that it's a Harry Potter game, it would make much more sense to have the spells be voiceactivated, where the actual spells used in the books would allow you to levitate objects, disarm opponents, etc. Voice recognition software has really matured in the past 10 years, and a lot of gamers already have microphones, so the pieces are already there, they'd just have to be assembled. Plus, with the motion detection in the Wii, you could combine the words of the spell with some sort of motion. This would (a) be totally awesome, and (b) be so close to witchcraft, it would drive the fundamentalists insane, which would also be awesome.

I would bet that the next big thing, after motion-sensitive controllers, is going to be voice recognition. Imagine you're playing as Captain Kirk, and you can issue commands like "Ahead full impulse power!", "Fire photon torpedoes", or even, during an away mission to some forgotten planet, "Beam me up, Scotty!". I'm not even a huge Star Trek fan or anything, but I think that would be pretty cool.

Or what about Half-Life 2: what if you could issue commands for your forces, like "medic!" "cover me!" or "attack that strider!" and your squad would actually do something useful, instead of just complain and get shot (which is about the limits of their current capabilities)? And how much easier would it be to control your units in StarCraft, if you could just say "[unit name], [action]", for instance, "Wraiths, cloak", "tanks, seige mode", or "marines, attack carrier"?

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829580)

The best thing about voice recognition for gaming is the same thing that makes it good for teaching languages. The really tricky part about voice recognition is being able to tell that slightly different pronunciations of the same word are, in fact, the same. With something like a Harry Potter game, this isn't an issue because the set of words is relatively small and you actually want poor pronunciation to have negative effects. If you don't enunciate the spell correctly, then you should singe your (avatar's) eyebrows.

In other games, voice recognition is best for vague commands. If you want a specific tank to go to a specific location, then a point and click interface is best. If you want all tanks of a specific category to adopt some general behaviour then a voice interface can be better. Things like fire at will or return fire behaviour in Total Annihilation were really fiddly to set, but just saying 'fleet, fire at will' would have been a lot faster.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829678)

Or what about Half-Life 2: what if you could issue commands for your forces, like "medic!" "cover me!" or "attack that strider!" and your squad would actually do something useful, instead of just complain and get shot (which is about the limits of their current capabilities)? And how much easier would it be to control your units in StarCraft, if you could just say "[unit name], [action]", for instance, "Wraiths, cloak", "tanks, seige mode", or "marines, attack carrier"?
After being subjected to games like Hey You Pikachu and Seaman, I am fully convinced that the unit would 'misunderstand' you and shoot you in the face.

(...Damn yellow rat never did open those chests.)

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829822)

Well the game, despite the "E" rating, was specifically engineered for the higher-pitched voices of children. I believe the manual said something about adults and those with lower-pitch voices anticipating difficulty with the voice recognition.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830080)

Some Nintendo DS games feature limited voice recognition. It hasn't really caught on with gamers. Shouting "Fire photon torpedoes" while you're playing a game feels about as awkward as shouting it while watching TV.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (3, Interesting)

gfody (514448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831178)

I was playing phantom hourglass on a jet while traveling for work. I was really enjoying the game until I got stuck at this part where I was supposed to actually yell out. I didn't want to do that cause the people around me were sleeping and I'd feel like a weirdo talking to my DS. I ended up playing something else the rest of the flight (thank god for R4)

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (3, Informative)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831252)

Blowing into the microphone works just as well.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22830716)

A voice controlled RTS is in the works: Tom Clancy's EndWar [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (2, Informative)

Double_Duo_Decimal (1104907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831308)

Or what about Half-Life 2: what if you could issue commands for your forces, like "medic!" "cover me!" or "attack that strider!" and your squad would actually do something useful, instead of just complain and get shot (which is about the limits of their current capabilities)? In UT2k4 you could give orders to bots on your team by using a designation+order voice recognition thingy. If you had three bots, no matter their names, they'd have a "title" of alpha, beta, or gamma. You could hold a button, say "Beta, cover me." and "Gamma, defend.", then watch them run about to fulfill your orders. It would be nice if more developers would incorporate a similar system in single player squad based games.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (4, Interesting)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829434)

I have to agree somewhat. About 10 years ago a company released a device called MotionWare that would electronically make your inner ear feel motion, without any visual or mechanical trickery; the ultimate gamer VR device. I got a developer's version while waiting on them to pitch the idea to places like Logitec, etc. but even though it worked fairly well, there were no takers and so now I'm stuck with a $1000+ prototype.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

Wah (30840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829554)

Compare the processing and sensor quality of the late '90s with the 2010's.

Moore's law alone gives 128-fold increase. Something that is 128 times better is 128 times better.

Can you really compare a powerglove to a wiimote? Isn't 128 times better? Now add a few more years and we get into the thousands quickly.

Remember, we are still on target for singularity by 2020 or so.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (3, Funny)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829668)

Agreed, screw the powerglove, roll on Coneheads/Demolition Man style mind-fuckery.

Slashdotters may actually find themselves in the forefront of a sexual revolution, imagine-

The hot chick from the flat above asking if you can come round and fix her BSOD'd Love Helm (tm).
Torrents of the outputs from said Helms floating around on The Pirate Bay.
Spurned ex-boyfriends of Hollywood starlets leaking recordings of the signals, rather than plain old homebrew porno.

Oh, the possibilities. Gotta go - ah - lie down...

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22830066)

Have you said sth. about the three shells?

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830478)

Im so sick of this masturbation fantasy all geeks seem to share. Its been around for at least the 80s and it turns out that people, except perhaps Japanese teens, do not want to fuck machines.

>The hot chick from the flat above asking if you can come round and fix her BSOD'd Love Helm (tm).

In America? No self-respecting woman would admit to owning one let alone asking a stranger to fix one. When was the last time your neighbor asked you to fix her broken dildo?

Yeah, I know parent post is a joke, but I wouldnt be surprised if lots of nerds are just waiting for a day that will never come. Reading the identical teledildonics "the tech is just around the corner!!" article that is published by wired news and boingboing every 6 months isnt helping any either.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (2, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831026)

Im so sick of this masturbation fantasy all geeks seem to share. Its been around for at least the 80s and it turns out that people, except perhaps Japanese teens, do not want to fuck machines.
That is because no one has made a machine with the look and feel of Natalie PortmanSummer Glau yet.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831446)

You miss the point (but I hid it pretty well). We will shortly be able to directly tweak the brain's pleasure zones, producing anything from a heroin high to a multiple orgasm. That will be cool.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831104)

"Torrents of the outputs from said Helms [wikipedia.org] floating around on The Pirate Bay."

Not in my VR helmet, thank you very much...

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829074)

There was a lot of hype surrounding the release of Nintendo's Power Glove, and in the end it was used for only a few games and then abandoned.

True. However, it wasn't that the new interface that made the Power Glove fail but rather the fact it didn't work. I had gotten one as a kid and the thing never worked and was very cumbersome to program. The was most likley due to the fact it was of poor quality and was more of a gimmick than actually being a well designed product.

The same fate happened for the VR Boy. It was basically an LED that was on a spinning mirror. Great idea but the worst possible implementation ever.

I personally think the technology was not ready for either back in the 90s. However, they kind of got it right with the Wii remote and maybe someday LED technology will allow VR glasses that don't weigh 20lbs and give you a head ache after an hour of use.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (2, Informative)

Krakhan (784021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829622)

As a nitpick, it wasn't Nintendo that made the Power Glove. It was Mattel.

Regardless, I think a big part of the reason it wasn't used much at all was the huge hassle it took to get it set up with games (you had to actually know and enter in a code for each game before you could use it), and even if it supported it, it just didn't work well at all, and you were better off just using the NES controller.

A better example from Nintendo for accessories they released was probably the Super Scope. Neat, and did work, but only 4 (?) games worked with it.

Re:The Power Glove seemed cool too (2, Informative)

GatesDA (1260600) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830048)

The Power Glove was by Mattel, not Nintendo. Another example of input innovation that didn't catch on was the Bandai Wonderswan. It had buttons on three corners so it could be played in portrait or landscape orientation.

Its all fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22828970)

Its all fun and games till the flying monkeys attack.

and people worry about comcast? (-1, Offtopic)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22828976)

Comcast is testing people&age detection cameras on the cable box- so if the box senses children only, it won't show explicit material, and further it can suggest programming based on determinations about the audience that is there.

How many generations of this 'game controller' can exist before you don't want to play that way anymore... because you just don't know how good it has become.
or worse- you DO know how good it has become...

Re:and people worry about comcast? (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829132)

Cameras ? What about tall kids and midgets ?

A more effective and cheaper solution would be to run PSAs throughout the day and evening, telling parents to "be fucking responsible" and "watch your kid". All the technology in the world cannot compensate for idiot parents.

Re:and people worry about comcast? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829436)

All the technology in the world cannot compensate for idiot parents.

Well that's a rather depressing statement.

We're doomed.

It is awfully close to April 1st (1)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22828996)

Wouldn't be the first time that a company put out a press release about mind control for consumer hardware at this time of year.

In Soviet Russia.. (4, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829000)

"mind-control headsets" do exatcly what the name implies.

Patents? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829006)

Let's see how many people will be saying that the technology is patented.

As long as it's read only :-) (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829020)

I hope they don't put a dumb plug on it that Joe with no brain can jack into something else. We wouldn't want to toast that one remaining braincell now, would we..

(BOFHs would say yes, of course :-).

Re:As long as it's read only :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829626)

Well, that would put a Black Cloud over it. However, Joe Stoddard would have been quite all right.

Nou Ani Anqueitas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829030)

I, for one, am looking forward to see manufacturers creating these gadgets in the shape of an Ancient Control Chair.

However, not sure if they are ever gonna put free drones in the package.

Couch potatoes unit! (4, Insightful)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829034)

I can see this going two ways:

1) They make a complete interface that allows the gamer to sit on the couch and do nothing physical when he/she is playing the game.

2) They make this interface work in conjunction with other body movement - like maybe adding it to the Wii games like Avatar. You'd actually have to move and think the right things to get the character on screen to do what you want.

The former will make even bigger couch potatoes and the latter will make people even more active while gaming.

I personally would choose the latter if given the choice.

Great workout..... (5, Interesting)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829210)

2) They make this interface work in conjunction with other body movement - like maybe adding it to the Wii games like Avatar. You'd actually have to move and think the right things to get the character on screen to do what you want.

I always wanted a martial arts game where you would wear gloves and boots and fight a computer guy. it wouldn't be the same as sparring with a real opponent (3D, depth perception, actually getting hit, etc...) but it sure would be a great and fun workout - maybe even helping with timing.

Re:Couch potatoes unit! (1)

TheMediaWrangler (817300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829322)

Absolutely! Think about the TV ad. People look like they are having fun flipping their Wii controllers around. That's good marketing. Now think about the TV ad for a brain-only controller. Oooh, scary!

I think the ideal would be a device that combines full body gestures with brain activity. This could use a Wii-like controller or even better, motion sensitive gloves with AR-style sensors that detect finger position. This gives you natural pushing, pulling, grasping, throwing, object swinging, waving, and bird-flipping!

Just keep them away from me. (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829402)

They make this interface work in conjunction with other body movement

I just hope to hell that nobody ever interfaces one of these to a cell phone. The bluetooth headset zombies are quite bad enough, thank you.

Re:Just keep them away from me. (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829460)

They make this interface work in conjunction with other body movement

I just hope to hell that nobody ever interfaces one of these to a cell phone. The bluetooth headset zombies are quite bad enough, thank you.

Bah! What's a little Cyberman Invasion! ;-)


For those that don't watch Doctor Who I'm referring to the closing of Series 2 of the new shows:

Rise of the Cybermen [bbc.co.uk]

Compatible with tin-foil? (1)

darthgar (823392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829042)

Can I use it while wearing my tin-foil hat?

Translation (2, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829050)

'Mind Gaming' will be this year's vaporware buzzword.

Re:Translation (2, Interesting)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829282)

'Mind Gaming' will be this year's vaporware buzzword.

Hardly, OCZ has already released their neural impulse actuator, which allows gamers to map neural impulses to keys that would be used in gameplay. (ie. WADS) It's not vaporware, it's already here and on shelves (or will be very shortly.)

http://www.ocztechnology.com/aboutocz/press/2008/273 [ocztechnology.com]

Re:Translation (2, Informative)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830180)

I'm sorry to say this, but none of these will work. The OCZ version and every other version that is coming out anytime soon (i.e. next 10 years or more) will make the power glove look good. The sophistication we have in recording and analyzing EEG is no where near ready and that is when we use setups in labs that cost 10's of thousands of dollars. The subjects still need to stand completely still and even eye blinks will give you major artifact. The EEG you will get from the sub par recording electrodes hooked up to kids that will be moving around is not going to allow for any meaningful kind of control.

I say all this with authority because I have been conducting research in the field of EEG for more than 5 years and I am very familiar with the level of technology and what can be done with it. I have published 6 peer-reviewed papers on the subject.

Question: (4, Funny)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829064)

Does the average kid gamer have enough brain power to set off the sensor?
I mean, how many madden players are there who buy the same game 49 times?

Re:Question: (1)

grikdog (697841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829510)

Where are my mod points? Funny+Insightful+Informative+Flamebait

Heh... (1)

Borommakot_15 (1259510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829090)

This could give some new meaning to "I think, therefore, I am."

Mind Games? (5, Funny)

Floydius (811220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829120)

This isn't good... girls will start beating us at video games on a regular basis.

Re:Mind Games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829484)

This isn't good... girls will start beating us at video games on a regular basis.

No kidding. They'll have to program the controller to shoot an enemy whenever the player thinks about sex to even make it fair for men!

Sinnesolscen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829126)

It's great to seen Sinnesolscen back in the game after all these years...

Remember the ST:TNG episode... (5, Funny)

Tetrad_of_doom (750972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829136)

The one where everybody on the Enterprise became addicted to that game that came with a headset and you controlled with your mind? Everybody became addicted to the thing and went all nutzo. Then Wil Wheaton saved the day by making out with Ashley Judd.

I would totally get this if I got to make out with a hot chick in a starfleet uniform.

Re:Remember the ST:TNG episode... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829342)

We're probably a bit more likely to have it turn out like Better than Life [wikipedia.org] (Red Dwarf) - we get sucked in to it and the whole world goes to pot in some shady machine.

Re:Remember the ST:TNG episode... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829386)

Thankful, Wil Wheaton had saved us from those damn, dirty Ktarians!

Re:Remember the ST:TNG episode... (1)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830460)

Then Wil Wheaton saved the day by making out with Ashley Judd.
[comic book guy voice]
Ah yes, TNG Season 5 episode 6 - The Game. Actually, it was Data that ended up saving the day with the strobe light. Wesley Crusher did fix Data's positronic links that were severed by Dr Crusher, but they ended up forcing Wesley to play the game right before Data saved them.
[/comic book guy voice]

Wearable computing and the return of hats. (3, Interesting)

spikesahead (111032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829154)

This makes me think of two things in particular; wearable computing and the return of hats.

I would sincerely like to be able to have a computer display in my glasses that I could view while walking around or standing in line.. at the very least providing something akin to a wearable Garmin gps device. The problem in my daydream has always been; how do I control the silly thing? How am I going to type? Mini keyboards like that on my phone are fine for short messages, but unsuited to any sort of real industrial typing and completely useless if I have to be walking or driving at the same time.

I would be willing to put a great deal of effort into learning how to type with my mind fluently.

However, wearing something like this on my head would make me look kind of silly in the business world. If an interface like this really takes off it could help ignite a resurgence of hats. I read an article recently revolving around how fifty years ago men of any class were rarely out and about without some form of stylish hat. As time passed this trend ended and now all we're left with is casual baseball caps. I've always liked a good fedora, and if they became fashionable to use as a mind interface cover then I could safely wear one in public without looking demented.

Re:Wearable computing and the return of hats. (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829204)

I doubt anything other than the most basic "mind control" tasks would be easier than voice recognition software. If you had a wearable GPS, wouldn't voice recognition be the easiest, best tested, keyboard free method for user input?

Re:Wearable computing and the return of hats. (2, Interesting)

exploder (196936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829274)

Voice control might be just the ticket, if we don't actually have to use our voice [slashdot.org] .

Re:Wearable computing and the return of hats. (3, Insightful)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830534)

"However, wearing something like this on my head would make me look kind of silly in the business world."

Kind of like sticking a little Borg-like flashing widget behind your ear and walking down the street talking to thin air? :D

From what I can see, what is acceptable in the business world morphs as something becomes popular, useful, or trendy with the C-levels. The first adopters will be snickered at; and then if it becomes as ubiquitous as iPods and bluetooth Borg-earpieces, those same snickerers will rush right out and get theirs. Some of them will even brag about how early they got in on it. People are funny.

Not my mind thank you.. (1)

martinQblank (1138267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829158)

Personally, I'm a little uncomfortable with the notion of anything or anyone but me reading my thoughts. I'll share them, or act on them, when I'm ready. Clearly though, such an interface has many promising applications ranging from military to medicine.

Re:Not my mind thank you.. (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829356)

It's not like they're reading your thoughts anyway. Just the electrical signal produced by clusters of neurons firing.

Maybe that can eventually be decoded into thought (although I suspect the particular signals that would work best for gaming are motor in nature), but that technology is probably rather far away.

Sony patent (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829174)

Didn't Sony last year or something file a patent on games that you interacted with via thought?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829176)

... has anyone played Dreamfall?

Re:So... (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831474)

i have, and i get your point, scary shit if you look at it that way

Jedi? (1)

wal9001 (1041058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829184)

You could make a pretty fun Star Wars game using this.

Re:Jedi? (1)

Strange Quark Star (1157447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829216)

My thought exactly - I want to see this on Force Unleashed.

PS9 Commercial (1)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829222)

Looks like Sony's "PS9" commercial, where a guy takes a pill and hallucinates his gameplay is one step closer to reality.

YouTube link to commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CZXZM6TFb4/ [youtube.com]

Top 10 "Gee, that sounds like..." (1)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829334)

9) Isn't this how Childhood's End got started? (Miss you Art :'( )
8) Great, till Mystique injects that black goo and blows your mind
7) Can you replay the games back into my skull? (Strange Days)
6) FORBIDDEN PLANET! (The dials go up to 10 to the infinite power)
5) "There's nothing you can't do once you put your mind to it." (Now, you can)
...
...
...
1) WHOA! I know kung-fu!!!
...
Great, can we get a game that does math facts, multiplication tables, etc. I'm always amazed at how my kids can memorize the entire Majora's Mask but keep forgetting what 8 * 4 is. Imagine what else they could learn... Oh...
0) Lawnmower Man. ...
...

Copy of OCZ's Neural Impusle Actuator? (1)

Turiko (1259966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829352)

Isn't this exactly the same technology as OCZ's NIA wich was shown in a slashdot article a while ago? Just look here: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/02/0131225 [slashdot.org] and then tell me what the difference is, besides OCZ having it nearly complete and this company only testing it... Besides, OCZ's version seems to be compatible with anything, as a new kind of input device, whilst this technology requires modded games.

Input Devices topic graphic? (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829362)

Why is the graphic for the Input Devices topic a spoon?

Because you use a spoon to "input" food?

(I hope that's not it, because that's a touch retarded.)

Re:Input Devices topic graphic? (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829830)

Perhaps it's a reference to the Matrix (you could consider a neural interface to be an input device). Not that that's any less rubbish, but I think that this is one of those questions where you have to start at the bottom of the barrel and work your way down.

Prior Art (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829378)

The concept of "biofeedback gaming" isn't new... anybody remember Pain Pong [g4tv.com] ?

Re:Prior Art (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829408)

Actually Steve Ciarcia did computer biofeedback in the 70's and even published in Byte in June 1979:

http://www.piclist.com/techref/article/byte/index.htm

His was actually neuro-muscular IIRC but still biofeedback

Re:Prior Art (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829474)

Sorry - apparently Slashdot is no longer aut-linking stuff:

Here's the link... [piclist.com]

I think I'll don my tinfoil hat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829428)

and RTFA

read carefully (2, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829448)

This is what they say:

Using a combination of EEGs (which reveal alpha waves that signify calmness), EMGs (which measure muscle movement), and ECGs and GSR (which measure heart rate and sweating), developers hope to create a picture of a players mental and physical state. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), which monitors changes in blood oxygenation, could also be incorporated since it overcomes some of the interference problems with EEGs.


The only component of those measurements that could actually be used for real-time game control is the EMG, that is, measuring the activation of muscles. That may make for interesting games, but it has nothing to do with "mind reading".

New as of 15 years ago (1)

Badbone (1159483) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829470)

I had a biofeedback device and game for my IBM PCjr. This tech isnt new. Now to be fair, the game was fairly lame. But even so this is a reinvention at best.

Thought Controlled TV Remotes !!! (1)

CalcuttaWala (765227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829500)

how about controlling your TV remotely by using your thoughts ? That may be a simpler task to achieve and the device could have a far larger and ready market ?

Don't believe the hype (5, Informative)

Beefmancer (1260556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829514)

I did a final project on the limits of EEG (electroencephalography, or getting-signals-using-electrodes-on-scalp, which is what this is) for a neurotechnology seminar last semester, and compared my findings to the claims made by Emotiv. The result: some of the things they claim this device can do are actually impossible and always will be, and others are extremely unlikely unless they've made some seriously groundbreaking discoveries. (Mediocre two-dimensional movement, for example, has been generated by EEG, but it'd be impossible with their headset unless they have some sick new algorithms.) The professor of the same course actually met with the president of Emotiv, who failed to demonstrate that the device could do anything.

Last I checked, their marketing videos are ridiculously flashy while showing no real control capability. My belief: EEG headsets like these, at best, will be controllable only by facial muscles (which completely overshadow the electrical potential generated by the brain) and by alpha rhythm amplitude, a very slow control signal demonstrated in "BrainBall", which was posted to slashdot some time earlier. At worst these headsets will be near-worthless devices, their sales supported entirely by false promises and media hype.

Re:Don't believe the hype (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830652)

Exactly what I suspected.

A few weeks ago I posted a comment on a slashdot story about that OCZ mind-reading device and how much I doubted it worked the way they described. The guy below me stopped just short of calling me a complete dumbshit for not having faith in the device.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=472638&cid=22614648 [slashdot.org]

Perry Bible Fellowship (1)

sucker_muts (776572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829560)

Biofeedback?

That reminds me of this comic:

Perry Bible Fellowship [pbfcomics.com]

Mind Games Olympics (4, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829652)

I already spent years in brutal mind games competitions, while dating girls. I retired with the gold medal when I married my wife.

I thought the entire appeal of online porn is that it's "victory" without the mind games, though its ultimate dissatisfaction is because it's really just a single-player mind game anyway.

give it a good mouse/joystick driver (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829778)

and the particular game wouldn't matter.

I need this technology-- even if it just works for mouse clicks.

handicapped people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829824)

Just think of the possibilities this could bring for disabled people. The software they have to use now sucks so much it's unreal.

bio feedback input (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829880)

Journey to the Wild Divine (http://www.wilddivine.com/products/breathing-techniques-bundle-pack/ [wilddivine.com] ) is a game that has been out for quite a while that uses bio feedback to control aspects of the game. Perhaps more accurately, it uses a galvanic skin sensor to provide additional input to the game. "Mind gaming" is probably another in the long tradition of inappropriately hyped terms that will disappoint people who expect magic and bore people who have an understanding and appreciation of the real and useful application of not magic technology.

I'm not associated in any way with the company. I got interested in mechanisms of highlighting bio-feedback in the context of education and childhood development. The interesting part of all of this for me is the potential shift away from "control" as a top down or external process where we use medicine or mechanisms to modify or control mind functions. To me it seems like an interesting development to be able to combine new bio feedback technology with existing bio feedback technology that is thousands of years old and has a proven effectiveness.

DNF4 Will Be Mind Controlled!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22829890)

Thats whats taken so long!

I can't wait for... (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830008)

Psychic Hero!

I call dibbs on the Prof. X avatar.

"EmoKey"? (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830250)

For example, with Emotiv's headset and the "Emotiv EmoKey," players may be able to incorporate biofeedback into many of their favorite PC games, such as the Harry Potter game. By using the EmoKey, players can link their detected brainwaves to actions in the game. For instance, by concentrating on an object, players can cause their avatar to pick up and handle that object.
Just curious, am I the only one who laughed when I read about their new "EmoKey"?

Marketers, here's a hint: Avoid the prefix "Emo" in your products' names. Nothing positive comes to mind when hearing that word.

Force Feedback (1)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830540)

wake me when I can rattle your mind with my jedi device

Won't work, but the better bet might be. . . (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830626)

EEG as it currently stand won't do the trick.


--Although, there was a Slashdot story a couple of days ago on room temperature superconductors [slashdot.org] which would provide the kind of technological leap necessary to make such a controller possible, (that is, if my understanding of sci-fi technology is correct, i.e. Brainstorm [imdb.com] ) --And, if according the article, the superconducting medium can be pressurized to about ten million atmospheres. (Don't hurl your headset to the floor in frustration, or you might crack a gasket and blow up/flash-freeze your house.)

I think a more realistic trick would be to use eyeball tracking glasses. Not quite the same as mind-reading, but certainly a decent hands-free input device. And possibly cooler yet, was the technology described in a Slashdot story from a couple of weeks back [slashdot.org] whereby a neckband can read from the vocal nerves in your neck which combined with a voice recognition system could presumably allow for voice actuated commands. --That would make more sense for a Harry Potter game, I'd think, where spells need to be spoken before they work.

With all the real tech available, I wonder why silly ideas like EEG readers which don't have a chance of working as advertised are being developed. Of course, I don't mind so much. --The idea of people wearing goggles to use computers is a bit creepy, and the neck band thing offers such a howler of a metaphor it doesn't bear explaining.


-FL

Sounds good, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22830714)

...will it run with linux ?

I played this at GDC (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830970)

I got to play with one of these at the Game Developers Conference [gdconf.com] . It can determine if you are being "meditative" or "focused." It was kinda neat, with two limitations:
1) It didn't work at all one some people (me being on of them).
2) The company says it is useless for games.

It's funny that there is an article about this being for games, because the reps at the show said that it wasn't really useful for games, and they were instead looking into military and commercial apps. For example, using it to see if drivers are awake. Or if a pilot is in need of a stimulant. But as for games, you really can't change your mental focus while doing something else. In the demo game, the rep would move your character around for you and click on things because it wasn't realistic for the player to be in a "meditative" state while doing those things. And since the whole contraption can only measure one axis, it is a lot of complexity for very little value.

It was a nice tech demo but there was only so much that could be done with it. It is definitely not the next big thing in gaming.

Soviet Russia (1)

sharperguy (1065162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831148)

I'd hate to see what these headsets would be like in Soviet Russia.

Silly but maybe fun... (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831274)

Mind gaming might be kind of fun, but one thing to remember is that it's not the same as traditional "control by thought" sci-fi/fantasy ideas. You don't think "lift rock" and the rock is lifted. You have to train your brain to connect a certain brainwave pattern with a lift command. It's not really that different from training your brain to press the B button when it wants to use a lift command.

In fact, training your brain is significantly more difficult because we have no experience doing it. The brain is not very quick at training itself to change states on command. It's good for therepy (I used to do Neurofeedback therepy for a while, and it was a great help).

All I'm trying to say is that while it might be fun, it's not what most people think it is, and unlike most new input devices which make things easier and more intuitive (Wiimote), brainwave output training is a slow, gruelling process that doesn't produce as fast a result as tactile responses.

Come the day we can build a super computer that can monitor an EEG and actually interpret the full thought "move character right", then we've got a good mind-control device. I'll buy an implant and use it to drive my car... but we're not quite there yet.

In Soviet Russia ... (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22831322)

Mind-control headsets control you!
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