Mike Ambinder, Experimental Psychologist at Valve, will present current research on Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) at the upcoming GDC 2019. In a lecture he will discuss the possibilities and insights for thought control as input devices for video games.
Mike Ambinder on Brain-Computer Interfaces – The Newest Mind-Control Knowledge as an Input Device for Computers
Historically, computer input devices have continually changed to allow a more natural and easier handling. Thus, at the beginning of time by means of switches input signals were generated, which were replaced by relay circuits. The hole card with punch card reader replaced this option, to be replaced later by handy punched tape. Only in the next step, the keyboard known to date was used to use the information to the computer. Since then, the development has continued steadily, so there are mouse, controller, sensors, etc., to simplify everyday life at the electronic devices.
Today, the evolution of controller-free input capabilities continues, with tremendous potential, especially for immersive XR technologies. Research on thought control in VR is becoming increasingly successful and especially the brain-computer interfaces could be the input methods of the future. This makes it possible to send the desired prompts to the PC via a brain signal and to completely dispense with external options.
At the upcoming GDC 2019 Mike Ambinder will talk about the possible potential of this technology and the evolution of video games. The experimental psychologist has been working at Valve for almost 11 years and now gives an overview of the research findings of recent years with regard to the field of gaming , In his lecture Brain-Computer Interfaces: One Possible Future for How We Play on March 22, he discusses the advantages and disadvantages of BCI’s interaction possibilities:
“While current interaction patterns are limited to the interpretation of mouse, keyboard, gamepad and gesture control, future generations of interfaces may include the ability to interpret neurological signals to promise faster and more sensitive actions. In addition, they can provide much wider arrays of possible inputs, real-time match of game status to a player’s internal state, and qualitatively different types of gaming experiences. This paper addresses both the short and long-term perspectives of BCI research for the gaming industry, but focuses on how technologies derived from this research can benefit developers today. “
While the lecture does not explicitly refer to the topics AR and VR, the inclusion of the promising input method in the XR technologies is just the next logical evolutionary step to massively improve the immersion. Since Valve is active in VR development, the inclusion of Virtual Reality in the lecture would be obvious.
GDC 2019 will be held March 18-23 in San Francisco, California.