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Microsoft Demos Controller Which Reacts to Muscle Tissue

Gordon Kelly


Think Project Natal was the limit of Microsoft's plans for future controller technology? No chance!

The software giant has shown off an experimental new tech which reacts to user's muscle tissue. Unveiled as part of a newly filed Microsoft patent, the tech uses 'Electromyography' (EMG) - the tiny, detectable electrical energy in our muscles - and translates it into controller instructions.

As present, the prototype system uses an arm band which has an additional number of sensors attached. It looks kinda scary, though the demo using Guitar Hero is undeniably cool. The patent also talks of expanding this system to cover other areas such as the head and legs (and no, don't even go there).

At this stage there isn't much more to say. Microsoft (understandably) hasn't put a timeframe on getting this tech to market or even confirmed if it definitely will be launched. Still, I can't help but think gaming in 2020 is going to be freakin' awesome....


Microsoft 'Muscle-Computer Interfaces Team

via Gizmodo

Hamish Campbell

January 5, 2010, 11:46 am

hmmm yeah cool, but whats with the examples?

Air guitar? You want the game to be life like so are real guitar, or 'game controller' guitar would add realism and enjoyment to the game.

Hands are tied up so use hand gestures or muscle twitch codes? Surely voice commands would be a far more sensible use here that would make much more sense to people.

So perhaps they should have gone for controller a game characters arm movements , still maybe they can't do that yet. Or performing desktop publishing tasks which relate to movements in the real world.

Still great tech in spite of my nick picking.


January 5, 2010, 2:12 pm

...I can see this being the death knell for your average gamer with non-existant muscles (me included)


January 5, 2010, 4:33 pm

What's so wrong with our current controllers that console manufacturers are trying to take them away from us?

I love the sixaxis. I don't want the new moon-on-a-stick that Sony are trying to push out. I certainly don't want Natal. It's awesome technology, even I have to give MS kudos for it, but I don't want to control my games with it.


January 5, 2010, 4:48 pm

To me this looks like another gimmick that wont sell (for gamers at least). I've never been a big fan of motion controls and this just looks silly; who wants to be jogging along and playing 5 finger exercises looking like there is something mentally wrong with you just to change track on your mp3 player?

Not to mention possible security risks of your car door opening/engine starting based on muscle movements...

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