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Stanford Engineers Design Video Game Controller That Can Sense Players' Emotions

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Videogamers using standard game controllers.

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a video game controller that can gauge a player's real-time brain activity.

Credit: Shutterstock

Stanford University researchers have developed a prototype video game controller that gauges the player's brain activity in real time.

The researchers removed the back panel of an Xbox 360 controller and replaced it with a three-dimensional printed plastic module containing multiple sensors. The controller also is equipped with small metal pads that measure the user's heart rate, blood flow, and both the rate of breath and how deeply the user is breathing. In addition, a light-operated sensor provides a second heart rate measurement, and accelerometers measure how violently the user is shaking the controller.

The Stanford researchers also developed software to gauge the intensity of the game. Finally, the researchers compared all of the data to produce an overall picture of the player's level of mental engagement.

"We can also control the game for children," says Stanford's Corey McCall. "If parents are concerned that their children are getting too wrapped up in the game, we can tone it down or remind them that it's time for a healthy break."

From Stanford Report (CA)
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