One of the more incredible additions to the latest addition in the Xbox family is the ability for the Xbox One to sense your heart rate and show it on screen. It is able to do this optically through Eulerian Video Magnification, basically magnifying properties in standard video output in order to discover your pulse rate.
This technology will have the ability to shake up the landscape of video games. If Microsoft and Xbox are able to use this technology to its fullest potential, it could revolutionize how video games are played.
The obvious applications of this technology are in the sporting game world. Gamers playing titles in this category would be able to see their heart rate and how it changes as they play. This could theoretically lead to a better way for those using the games as a form of exercise to more accurately monitor their caloric loss while they play.
However this barely would scratch the surface of the potential uses for this technology. This new development has the ability to make games act as the Choose Your Own Adventure novels worked for young readers. In those novels the reader changes the story based on the decisions he or she makes based on information they have read, potentially changing the ending of the book.
Video games could act in this way if the heart rate technology changes what happens next in a game. Imagine you are playing Call of Duty, the popular first person shooter series, and your heart is pounding as you lay prone to scope out your next target. Suddenly the game could adjust content to suit your excitement level.
Picture yourself playing a game that requires stealth, or a game of the horror genre. Suddenly, your heart is racing and pounding as you get excited for what is going to happen next. As a result of the game knowing this, it could adjust the next scene of the game so that more stuff could jump out, and the action could intensify.
However if a player was maintaining a lower heart rate, the game could be less intense at the beginning and work its way up as the player’s heart rate would begin to rise.
In the world of sporting games, heart rate could dictate things such as player fatigue, as a player keeps an elevated heart rate for an extended period of time, the player he is controlling could begin to show the signs of fatigue the player is most likely feeling in real life. If a player is able to keep his heart rate within certain levels however, this could benefit the time a player can remain in a game without substitution. Things like how clutch a player is could depend on the heart rate being elevated, showing that the player is in the moment of the game and ready to seize his opportunity for glory.
Technology in the world of video games is certainly going to be revolutionized by the next wave of consoles, and the Xbox One looks to have made just enough improvements to warrant a purchase. The new technologies that have been put in this system have the ability to forever alter the landscape of gaming, its just up to Microsoft to use it to its fullest potential.
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The Guardian Express