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: Earthquake simulation tops one quadrillion flops

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

An equation to describe the competition between genes

Mar 13, 2014

In biology, scientists typically conduct experiments first, and then develop mathematical or computer models afterward to show how the collected data fit with theory. In his work, Rob Phillips flips that ...

Touchy-feely joystick heading to Space Station

Feb 27, 2014

Stowed inside ESA's next supply ship to the International Space Station will be one of the most advanced joysticks ever built, designed to test the remote control of robots on the ground from up in orbit.

Recommended for you

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

12 minutes ago

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

1 hour ago

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

11 hours ago

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Yahoo sees signs of growth in 'core' (Update)

11 hours ago

Yahoo reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit Tuesday, results hailed by chief executive Marissa Mayer as showing growth in the Web giant's "core" business.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.