If you caught our latest article on “Holodeck Technology,” the fine folks here at ScienceFiction.com would like to follow up on the tech that could make it happen!
Microsoft is working on what they call “Wearable Electromyography-Based Controllers” that measures muscle activity, and interacts with and controls computing devices! These would include game consoles, TV’s, and other multi-media devices.
Our beloved Sci-Fi movies have shown us the possibilities of this wearable technology, imagine gloves, or full body suits that the gaming console recognizes, and places you directly into the gameplay environment!
Watching behind the scenes of gaming creation shows us actors and stuntmen dressed in blue form fitting outfits with tiny sensors in strategic spots. These motion sensors are recognized by a program, and used to give CGI characters realistic movement during gameplay. Imagine Skyrim. Now imagine the environment of Whiterun all around you!
Gaming aside, this wearable technology would have many other uses as well: medical, virtual reality bomb disposal, the list grows everyday. According to Patentbolt.com,
A “Wearable Electromyography-Based Controller” provides a physical device worn by or otherwise attached to a user that directly senses and decodes electrical signals produced by human muscular activity using surface Electromyography (sEMG) sensors. The resulting electrical signals provide a muscle-computer interface for use in controlling or interacting with one or more computing devices or other devices coupled to a computing device.
Human-computer interfaces (HCl) have been primarily implemented by monitoring direct manipulation of devices such as mice, keyboards, pens, dials, touch sensitive surfaces, etc. However, as computing and digital information becomes integrated into everyday environments, situations arise where it may be inconvenient or difficult to use hands to directly manipulate an input device. For example, a driver attempting to query a vehicle navigation system might find it helpful to be able to do so without removing his or her hands from the steering wheel. Further, a person in a meeting may wish to unobtrusively and perhaps invisibly interact with a computing device. Unfortunately, the general assumptions described above with respect to the setup and use of conventional EMG sensors and signal measurement tend to make the use and setup of conventional EMG systems impractical for typical HCl purposes which allow a user to control and interact with computing systems, applications, and attached devices.
These Wearable Electromyography-Based Controllers could also be used to control multiple devises at once, creating extraordinary new gameplay environments.
Microsoft also states;
It should also be appreciated that the control and interface capabilities provided by the Wearable Electromyography-Based Controller are potentially invisible in the sense that a user wearing one or more such controllers could remotely interact with various devices without anyone else being able to see or hear any overt actions by the user to indicate that the user is interacting with such devices. This could apply to controlling a music player, a pan-tilt-zoom camera, a home automation system, a game console, television and beyond.
Now is it evident the potential ramifications of such technology? I certainly think so, and I am looking forward to playing Left 4 Dead as I look all around me for that damned Jockey or Hunter!
What kind of applications can you see? We want to hear your thoughts boys and girls! Where do you see this technology being useful, or simply awesome?