New Tech Promises Real Muscle-Propelled Force Feedback In Games

Technology used to rehabilitate paralyzed limbs might hold the key to providing true force feedback in future gaming devices.

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation is a technology that uses electric impulses to elicit muscles to contract. Today, this technology is mainly used in muscle therapy, but Pedro Lopes and colleagues at the Hasso Plattner Institute have developed a prototype gaming device that uses EMS to send non-painful electric pulses directly to the player’s muscles, eliciting them to contract and give the feeling that the game is physically pushing against them.

The prototype, dubbed “Muscle-Propelled Force Feedback,” stimulates the player’s muscles through two wired electrodes attached to his forearm. A specially designed game in which players controlled an aircraft through strong wind was used to test the system. Ten players tried out the game and "all of them preferred our mobile force-feedback over traditional vibrotactile feedback."

In addition to its superior feedback feeling, the EMS-based solution is much smaller and more power efficient than existing solutions that rely on motors to produce vibrotactile feedback (vibrations); that is, if you are OK with strapping the two electrodes to your forearm.

Make sure to check the prototype out in the gallery.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


If its safe to give COD

If its safe to give COD players computers, which are machines capable of wreaking havoc in government and company affairs worldwide, because they will only use it as intended then I guess its safe to give them small electric shocks. COD is all about the buzz.


I'm sure I have read articles about this years ago. Good that they have got to a position where it is possible but I don't see it working. Not only because some ****-wit would stick the pads somewhere stupid and hurt themselves, but also because we have all had a game crash leaving our controllers stuck on rumble... don't quite know what that would be link if it happens with these pads, but would not be very good.


A Great way to make viruses kill someone by electroshock if this is applyd to xbox or anyhting with the power supply'ed from a wall socket. Useing this will be natural selection working again. I cant wait!


People might, but OP said people would get electrocuted by viruses, not by physically fiddling with the device. Nice try, making it sound like you're right by speaking about completely different things. To clarify, once power enters the circuit it follows the little metallic rails you see when you look at computer boards. Those little rails have a maximum current they can handle before melting, not to mention the safety fuses used in power supplies which also melt if the electric current surpasses a certain threshold. It is physically impossible for a software to electrocute someone if the electronics weren't designed for just that. Now you may argue that this is exactly the purpose of the gadget in the article but then all you have to do is refer to the beggining of this post. It was made for small, painless shocks. If software tries to raise the current it will either get blocked by the firmware or it'll fry the power supply, either way the user wont get a stronger than usual shock. So drop this silly idea of getting electrocuted


“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Now google up who sayd that :3

I know the exact sciences can

I know the exact sciences can be mystifying to kids but make no mistake, electronics are man made, they don't exist naturally. They are LIMITED to and by human knowledge, there is no magic, no unicorns, no nothing, they work exactly the way they are intended to and in no other manner. The phrase you quoted was said by a scientist(Einstein), a person who works at the edge of human knowledge in order to expand it. In his case its understandable that imagination is more important, his job was to create knowledge after all. So don't misuse his words, to kids who have no idea how the basics work, knowledge is the first and foremost priority, especially so because knowledge expands your imagination.

Add new comment