May The Force Be With You

If you can’t concentrate you may not win your next light sword battle or make your next put:

Behind the mask is a sensor that touches the user’s forehead and reads the brain’s electrical signals, then sends them to a wireless receiver inside the saber, which lights up when the user is concentrating. The player maintains focus by channeling thoughts on any fixed mental image, or thinking specifically about keeping the light sword on. When the mind wanders, the wand goes dark.

Technology from NeuroSky and other startups could make video games more mentally stimulating and realistic. It could even enable players to control video game characters or avatars in virtual worlds with nothing but their thoughts.
Adding biofeedback to “Tiger Woods PGA Tour,” for instance, could mean that only those players who muster Zen-like concentration could nail a put. In the popular action game “Grand Theft Auto,” players who become nervous or frightened would have worse aim than those who remain relaxed and focused.
NeuroSky’s prototype measures a person’s baseline brain-wave activity, including signals that relate to concentration, relaxation and anxiety. The technology ranks performance in each category on a scale of 1 to 100, and the numbers change as a person thinks about relaxing images, focuses intently, or gets kicked, interrupted or otherwise distracted.

Read the rest of the article for the beginnings of what could be an interesting debate over both intended and unintended benefits of bringing biofeedback to the popular market.

Will learning to keep a light sword bright improve our ability to focus on other tasks?

Update: Here is a picture of Neurosky’s prototype and here is NeuroSky’s homepage.<.p>

Playin’ and Losin’

I’ve lost The Game again.

Thanks to the kind commenters that have reminded me that the game goes on!

At some level of participation chaos could reign as 100s, no thousands of folks are losing and our RSS readers, comments and trackbacks are filled with reminders. Surely we will be wise enough to fold before then.