LAS VEGAS — Have you ever beaten an incredibly tough boss, narrowly survived a daring raid or taken down your opponents in a glorious showdown in a PC game? Your heart was probably going a mile a minute. If you've ever wondered just how fast your pulse was racing, or how much sweat coated your mouse in heated moments like that, the Naos QG mouse from Mionix may be able to tell — if it reaches its crowd-funding goal.
I went hands-on with the Naos QG (Quantified Gaming) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015, and just by placing my hand on the device, it immediately picked up my heartbeat and my galvanic skin response (in a nutshell, how moist and springy my hands were). Although the mouse is still in its conceptual stages, it can already measure a user's vital signs as well as analytics about his or her mouse movements and actions per minute.
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I played a bit of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel with the Mionix representatives, and got to see an experimental overlay for the Naos QG software as well. All three of us could see small, unobtrusive circles with our heart rates in the corner of the screen. Eventually, players will be able to see other stats as well, like actions per minutes. This could help facilitate communication among players: a spiking heart rate could mean a teammate who's in trouble, while low actions per minute might indicate one who's not pulling his or her weight.
The Naos QG is still in its very early stages and subject to change, but the mouse itself is very comfortable. It looks almost identical to the Naos 8200, which offered superb design and unforgivably buggy software. If the Naos QG makes it to market, hopefully it will keep a similar appearance, but come equipped with a more user-friendly program.
While the Naos QG worked very well, even this early in the development process, its potential is still largely theoretical. Mionix is not pitching this mouse because players have been clamoring for vital-sign tracking, but rather because vital-sign tracking could open up new opportunities in player communication and game interactivity.
If the Naos QG makes it to market, it will cost $129 and ship in the late second or early third quarter of 2015. Those who want to score a Naos QG for the early bird price of $89 can still do so on the mouse's Kickstarter page.