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Old 11-26-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
jrrtoken
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Neural Impulse Actuators?

I found an interesting product on Newegg the other day: a "Neural Impulse Actuator". The product is a peripheral that claims to actually read your brainwaves and facial gestures through a harness and translate the data into input, allowing you to supposedly increase reaction times.

Now, I'm thinking that this is one of those "semi-functional" products that actually does what it's intended to so, but is not fully refined. Additionally, I can see this as cheating in certain games, since it does seem to provide an advantage. So, can someone give me skinny on this technology for gaming, and if it's even worth it?
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:07 AM   #2
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thats nothin', tk made glasses that can enhance the power of your mind

Anyway, these 'mind control' products are really starting to become more common. Square Enix is even releasing a game that features this type of control...

What I can tell you is that contrary to popular belief, they work on Electromyographic Biofeedback(EMGBF) as opposed to brain waves. Measuring brain activity via EEG(Electro EncephaloGram) etc involves alot of expensive equipment, that you either need to be immersed in -like a MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner - or have electrodes literally glued to your head(for a clear EEG signal)

Since being diagnosed with epilepsy Ive had dozens of EEGs, and several MRI and PET scans done. I dont see any of that tech getting cheap enough to make it into the home. There are whole countries out there that cant afford an MRI machine. The ones you find at hosptals are usually owned by the government or donated by super rich conglomerates. They are freakin expensive!

Now EMGBF is a different story. Through my work as a physical therapist, Ive used it quite a bit, especially working in Neurological Rehab. People who've had strokes, or trauma to nerves controlling movement, cannot move parts of their body properly. EMGBF is a way of monitoring whether muscles are working or not. When muscles work, there is a measurable electrical current across the skin. EMGBF devices can pick this up and display it, or make a noise. The latter is used most often for retraining correct movement in stroke victims. eg, using the incorrect muscles will result in a beep, the patient needs to concentrate on using the correct muscles to achieve the task eg, standing, walking etc. Works great with younger people, studies (and my own experience) has demonstrated. They like the beeping and gadgetry and game-like element of it. Oldies usually get confused and frustrated with the whole thing... It must be said that EMGBF devices are quiet cheap in comparison to EEG Meters and MRI or PET scanners

Hence, the new trend of 'controlling games with your mind' that your hearing about is a bit misleading. Your controlling the game/movement with measured impulses from your *muscles*, be they facial, eye or scalp muscles. Sure, they are being controlled by your brain, but so are your wrist and finger muscles on your trusty old controller !!

longstoryshort: try it if you want to experience something different. Know that its actually not too different from what your using youre controller with. Because using a controller is such a practised activity, youre always going to do that more quickly and accurately than with a device that uses muscles that you dont practise that much with.

thaty being said:
*EMGBF is a great idea for developing controllers for gamers that are diasabled ; this has already been done a few of times in the medical field, but not in a commercial sense.
*I can see EMGBF being somehow incorporated into controllers of the future, where the muscle impulses of the arms/hands on a controller would definitely increase response times than simply the push on the control stick or button. The impulse to do that travels through earlier, so you would indeed be improving performance.

Hope that answers your question PastramiX

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Old 11-30-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PastramiX View Post
I found an interesting product on Newegg the other day: a "Neural Impulse Actuator". The product is a peripheral that claims to actually read your brainwaves and facial gestures through a harness and translate the data into input, allowing you to supposedly increase reaction times.

Now, I'm thinking that this is one of those "semi-functional" products that actually does what it's intended to so, but is not fully refined. Additionally, I can see this as cheating in certain games, since it does seem to provide an advantage. So, can someone give me skinny on this technology for gaming, and if it's even worth it?
I knew it, the aliens are planting their technology onto our planet to take over out minds!

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