Feeds

Geeks play Guitar Hero without guitars

Muscle movement replaces button bashing

Build a business case: developing custom apps

We’ve all been air-guitar gods at some point in our lives. But now a band of boffins have proven that you don’t need frets, a pick or even a controller to be a Guitar Hero.

Nerds from Microsoft, the University of Washington and the University of Toronto have jointly developed a “muscle/computer interface” able to control the music videogame without using the traditional four-buttoned plastic guitar.

Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from Adobe.com

The system – albeit in its early, lab-based days – is essentially a combination of sensors and gesture recognition software, the latter allowing the gamer to control Guitar Hero using a series of predefined movements.

A ring of sensors around the player’s forearm pick up muscle movements from the surface of the skin. This process, the video (above) describes, is called electromyography.

guitar_hero_muscle_01

The muscle computer interface does away with all that unnecessary button bashing

These signals then work with gesture-detecting software to ensure that when, for example, the gamer touches their index finger to their thumb, Guitar Hero interprets the movement as though they were touching the red button on the game’s plastic guitar.

Strumming, usually achieved on Guitar Hero by flexing the plastic guitar’s strummer switch, is now replicated when the gamer uses their left arm to strum an invisible guitar.

Sticking a variety of sensors about your person just to become an air-guitar god won’t work for everyone, so the developers are also working on a wireless system that could be integrated into an arm band.

guitar_hero_muscle_02

A wireless version of the Muscle computer interface is also in development

Sadly, no plans to release the tech as a peripheral have been announced. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.