Games in Science and Technology

FWD News: From Mind to Crowd Control

The intendiX EEG HelmetWhen it comes to controlling and manipulating interactive software, most people immediately think of buttons and switches. However, three companies are using the potential of thoughts and movements to give power to the people.

Canadian company InteraXon displayed its mind-reading interface at the Ontario Olympic Pavilion during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. There, visitors were able to change light colours thousands of kilometres away, simply by thinking of a different colour while wearing an electroencephalogram (EEG) helmet. The technology was also featured shining on Niagara Falls, the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and the CN Tower in Toronto. Read More...

PlayStation Move Motion Control System Detailed

PlayStation Move LogoSony Computer Entertainment shed new light on the motion control system it first introduced at E3 2009 during the 2010 Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. Dubbed PlayStation Move, the controller tandem that works in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye peripheral will be available worldwide in Fall 2010.

According to a press release from SCE, the PlayStation Move system will boast “unmatched accuracy” in detecting fast and precise movements by including a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a terrestrial magnetic field sensor, as well as a color-changing sphere that is tracked by PlayStation Eye camera. Read More…

Microsoft Research Unveils Muscle-Computer Interfaces

Image from Microsoft Patent ApplicationMicrosoft is seeking patents on a method of controlling computer interfaces by Electromyography. The technology - abbreviated EMG - translates the electrical activity of human muscles into instructions for a computer or other electronic device.

One patent filing describes a system that would be attached to a user’s forearm and another filing proposes a full-body system including sensors that would be worn on the head, chest, arms and legs of an end user. A video originating from Microsoft Research suggests that the technology could not only be used to control computers and video games, but portable electronics like MP3 players as well. Read More…

Valve to Incorporate Sign Language in Next Half-Life Episode

Alyx from Half-Life 2Half-Life 2: Episode 3 is expected to feature a character using American Sign Language (ASL), according to Valve co-founder Gabe Newell. The story’s main character, Alyx, is believed to be revealed to have learned sign language to communicate with a former deaf love interest, who is thought to be introduced in the new game.

The developer has been running focus groups with deaf participants to get their input on how to integrate ASL realistically in games, which would come as an innovative development in mainstream gaming. YouTube features two video excerpts of these focus groups. Read More...