Neural Impulse Actuator responds to thought
The power of thought is truly one of the Holy Grails of the 21st century as scientists and researchers all over the world work to come up with a computer interface that responds to thought, making it possible for virtually everyone and anyone to make use of a computer. Imagine the bed-ridden and homebound updating their blogs and websites without the need to even lift a finger. While that premise is truly interesting and would be beneficial to most people, a seamless working model have yet to be introduced. This does not mean we are further from the goal though – on the contrary, big steps have been taken in this rapidly evolving field, with the Neural Impulse Actuator being the latest prototype in line that responds to the power of thought. While it remains a gaming peripheral at the moment, translating it into a working environment would be pretty simple in principle. The Neural Impulse Actuator is currently being showcased at Computex Taipei 2007.
This gaming interface prototype enables up to 11 signals from an actuator worn around to forehead to be assigned to pre-programmed keystrokes or mouse button. This was made possible by the actuator taking its cues from neural signals based from a variety of permutations consisting of the brain, eye, and facial muscle activity through a trio of sensor pads that are located on your forehead. It takes approximately a few minutes to calibrate the device. It seems that this device is widely tipped to be released to the commercial market by the end of this year.
I suppose games like RTS and FPS will greatly benefit from such a device, and the game programmers themselves will have to work on an engine that can actually catch up with the gamer’s thoughts instead. The very idea of watching a game of StarCraft using the Neural Impulse Actuator sends chills down my spine – perhaps it would be prudent for Blizzard to include a multi-monitor display as the gamer controls different bases simultaneously based on thought alone?