Titles like "The Last of Us" and "Bioshock Infinite" prove that video games can make us emotional, but what if our controllers were aware of that? A group of Stanford University engineers have developed a gamepad modification that can read -- and react to-- the way you feel when playing a game.
Stanford doctoral candidate Corey McCall showcases this unique peripheral in a video, where we see a modified version of Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller. The controller has an extended backside that hosts the heart rate sensor and accelerometer, while four electric plates are placed along the gamepad's grips to measure parameters such as respiration rate.
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McCall's goal is to use this enhanced controller to tailor the game experience toward the player's emotional state. He notes that an action game could theoretically "send in more zombies" if it senses that the player has a low heart rate due to boredom, or do the opposite if the player is a bit too stimulated.
This technology has some benefits for parents, as they would be able to limit the intensity of their child's gaming experiences.
With the rise of products like the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and the Virtuix Omni walking platform, hardware manufacturers are finding ways to make gaming more immersive than ever. McCall's invention could be a big addition to this ecosystem, opening the door for games that learn your emotional state and react accordingly.