An unbeatable computer game?

August 30, 2007 by Lisa Zyga weblog
Yeti character
"Yeti" is the character in a new computer game that has the potential to predict a player´s move in advance by measuring skin conductance. Image credit: YetiSports.

Researchers have come up with an idea to design a computer game that knows a player’s move about two seconds before the move is made. Using measurements of players’ skin conductance, the computer’s sensors can tell when a player is about to press a button.

Laszlo Laufer and Bottyan Nemeth at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary developed the idea of a frustrating computer game to learn more about biofeedback signals analysis, which could have more useful applications in real life. The researchers told New Scientist, for example, that the technology could be used to help speed up a person’s reaction time, which could be beneficial for pilots in military operations.

For now, though, the computer game, called YetiSports part 8: JungleSwing, is available for anyone to play at (free registration is required). Although the appropriate hardware is required for biofeedback sensors, the rules of the game can still be seen: an ape-like Yeti tries to climb a tree by swinging from branch to branch. A player must click the mouse at the correct moment for Yeti to swing to the next branch; if not, Yeti falls to the ground.

Laufer and Nemeth had subjects test the game, taking measurements of the subjects’ heart rates, skin conductance, and electrical activity in the brain. The scientists were surprised to find that skin conductance by itself was sufficient to predict a jump two seconds in advance.

With this information, Laufer has suggested the possibility for a “frustration game”—that is, a game that would slow down or speed up just before a jump to throw a player off. While previous research has been done on using EEG signals as a type of game control, skin conductance has the advantage of potentially being able to be built right in to future game controllers.

Explore further: Mobile apps and online reviews influence consumer behavior

Related Stories

Mobile apps and online reviews influence consumer behavior

September 30, 2015

Mobile apps are changing the way brands connect with consumers and have the potential to boost a company's bottom line. According to a new Iowa State University study, there is a direct link between app use and purchase activity ...

Marine archaeologists excavate Greek Antikythera shipwreck

September 25, 2015

Archaeologists excavating the famous ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism have recovered more than 50 items including a bronze armrest (possibly part of a throne), remains of a bone flute, fine glassware, ...

Researchers present a special gel for touchscreen buttons

September 24, 2015

Six researchers from Germany and Denmark co-authored the paper," GelTouch: Localized Tactile Feedback Through Thin, Programmable Gel." If you were missing the press-down experience of finger interaction with your screen then ...

Recommended for you

Drone market to hit $10 billion by 2024: experts

October 3, 2015

The market for military drones is expected to almost double by 2024 to beyond $10 billion (8.9 billion euros), according to a report published Friday by specialist defence publication IHS Jane's Intelligence Review.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.