An unbeatable computer game?

Aug 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 yetisports.org (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: Computer program to take on world's best in Texas Hold 'em

Related Stories

Science behind price of your camera

Apr 21, 2015

Pricing strategies exploiting demand with a high price – skimming – or tempting consumers with a low one – penetration – are not as popular as marketers assume, according to new research.

Roar of China's 'Great Cannon' heard across the internet

Apr 15, 2015

China has once again surprised researchers by unleashing what has been dubbed its "Great Cannon" – a cyber weapon that has in recent weeks brought down several websites including the Github software code repository and GreatFire, an activist group working against censorship in China ...

Recommended for you

Ears, grips and fists take on mobile phone user ID

11 hours ago

A research project has been under way to explore a biometric authentication system dubbed Bodyprint, with interesting test results. Bodyprint has been designed to detect users' biometric features using the ...

Russian hackers read Obama emails, report says

22 hours ago

Emails to and from President Barack Obama were read by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House's unclassified computer system, The New York Times said Saturday.

Supermarkets welcome cold-comfort edge of F1 aerofoils

Apr 25, 2015

UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group, has collaborated with UK-based Aerofoil Energy to develop an aerodynamic device that can reduce ...

User comments : 0

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.