Video games are fine ways to wind down and relax. But all those hand movements required to operate a game's controls are obviously exhausting. It's far too close to actual physical activity.
What if there was a way to make marathon video game sessions a total sedentary experience for every part of you except your brain?
Your dream has come true. Soon enough you will be able to play video games completely hands-free :
Gamers will soon be able to interact with the virtual world using their thoughts and emotions alone.
A neuro-headset which interprets the interaction of neurons in the brain will go on sale later this year.
"It picks up electrical activity from the brain and sends wireless signals to a computer," said Tan Le, president of US/Australian firm Emotiv.
"It allows the user to manipulate a game or virtual environment naturally and intuitively," she added.The Epoc technology can be used to give authentic facial expressions to avatars of gamers in virtual worlds. For example, if the player smiles, winks, grimaces the headset can detect the expression and translate it to the avatar in game.
It can also read emotions of players and translate those to the virtual world. "The headset could be used to improve the realism of emotional responses of AI characters in games," said Ms Le.
"If you laughed or felt happy after killing a character in a game then your virtual buddy could admonish you for being callous," she explained.
The $299 headset has a gyroscope to detect movement and has wireless capabilities to communicate with a USB dongle plugged into a computer.
The Emotiv said the headset could detects more than 30 different expressions, emotions and actions.
They include excitement, meditation, tension and frustration; facial expressions such as smile, laugh, wink, shock (eyebrows raised), anger (eyebrows furrowed); and cognitive actions such as push, pull, lift, drop and rotate (on six different axis).
Gamers are able to move objects in the world just by thinking of the action.
Eventually, this kind of brain-directed activation of electronic equipment will find its way into Human 2.0, the new generation of robots and androids that will increasingly become a part of everyday life in the next two decades. Your brain is wired to the 'brain' of the Human 2.0 so you can see, hear and feel what it sees, hears and feels. And vice-versa, if you allowed the artificial brain to access your human brain.
And computers will want to come down the pipeline and get into your head once this level of interactivity becomes commonplace. The video game will eventually reshape itself to fit your skill level, or to ramp up the challenge levels.
The science fiction era of fear of computers linking to human brains barely exists for youth now raised on computers and video games. Ditching the controls for direct human-to-computer control will not seem futuristic, or too tempting of the implementation of the inevitable robotic overthrow of humanity. It will simply be seen as a much easier and far more practical way for humans to operate their computers and artificial brains.
Here's how it works :
The brain is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, which emit an electrical impulse when interacting. The headset implements a technology known as non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) to read the neural activity.
Ms Le said: "Emotiv is a neuro-engineering company and we've created a brain computer interface that reads electrical impulses in the brain and translates them into commands that a video game can accept and control the game dynamically."
Soon you won't have to pause in the middle of completing another important raid in WoW just to cram in a life-sustaining slice of pizza. Progress!