Posts Tagged ‘controller’

New gaming technology provides ‘sensory reality’

August 15, 2008

Over the past ten years, games designers have struggled to create greater realism in their virtual worlds. Now that the visual aspect of games is approaching  photo-realism, designers are looking to push back other boundaries through entirely new technologies.


I have already talked about computer mind-control systems, but another emerging area of innovation is sensory reality.


One system, designed by Hirouki Kajimoto and Kanako Matsuo, involves gamers wearing specially designed arm, leg or chest pads. The pads can create a wide variety of sensations through tiny brushes embedded within them – from insects crawling over your arms to stab wounds. And this technology is not years away – it works now and will be commercial very soon.


With this technology, opponents in virtual worlds may soon be able to “hurt” you, and it is bound to drastically change how we play games.


It certainly brings the illusive ideal of immersive virtual reality one step closer.


How long can it be before the big games publishers, like EA and Activision, lock on to these technologies as their next selling-point?


Computers are going mental…

June 13, 2008



Researchers at Emotiv have finally developed a brainwave-reading headset. They don’t even need batteries – currently being powered by either body heat or sunlight.

This gadget was already making news at 2007’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.

But they also have another interesting application. Whilst able-bodied people may find this to be an entertaining gimmick for the moment, for heavily disabled people it can provide a new sense of freedom, allowing them to move around in and explore a virtual world. The same technology is also now being used to treat phantom limb syndrome.

This technology used to come at the cost of a rather dangerous operation that would remove part of the skull and insert a sensor to monitor brainwaves. Unfortunately, it also carried the very real risk of leaving the patient in a permanent vegetative state.

Now that the technology is non-intrusive (and has even been designed to look like headphones so you don’t stand out in a crowd) it may actually take off.


It’s almost certain to catch on better than the US military’s multi-million dollar “robotic pack mule”.


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