Meet the PIP: The stress management device for video games

Valve isn't the only company experimenting with biofeedback in games. The PIP is a stress management device which utilizes a biosensor to reveal how stressed you are through gaming.
Valve isn't the only company that has been experimenting with biofeedback in video games, and how emotional state can potentially affect game design. The Personal Input Pod -- or PIP for short -- is a portable stress management device from Galvanic Ltd, which utilizes a biosensor to reveal how stressed you are through a gaming paradigm. The PIP is held between two fingers, and uses gold-plated sensor pads to capture your galvanic response to whatever stimulus you're currently experiencing. The device connects to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, and measures the player's stress level in real-time, eight times per second. The idea is that your stress levels can be used to control characters in video games, or perhaps can be utilized in smaller minigames. For example, Galvanic has built a prototype game called Relax and Race, in which two PIP-toting players compete to fly their dragon to the finish line first. The less stressed you are, the faster your dragon moves. Another game example is called Lie Detective, and is a simple lie-detector which uses stress patterns to determine if the player is answering questions correctly, or trying to evade the truth. Relax and Race.jpgGalvanic hopes that, by teaching players how to deal with stress through video games, they can then take these lessons and apply them to real-life stressful situations. The design phase for the PIP is complete, and a prototype has been produced. Now the team is looking to launch a Kickstarter on June 17 to fund the production of the device, and develop a suite of games and lifestyle apps to compliment its launch. Galvanic also plans to launch an SDK for developers to build their own PIP games, and explore the various ways in which the device can be used in video game design.

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