Have you always dreamed of playing the guitar like Eric Clapton or Slash but didn't have the talent for it? Well, fret no more because scientists at Tokyo University have teamed up with Sony to invent an electric finger stimulator called PossessedHand that will make your fingers move without requiring any input from your brain.
PossessedHand comprises of a pair of wrist bands (similar to blood pressure cuffs), which deliver mild electrical stimuli directly to the muscles that control your arm and fingers. The electrical stimuli is normally sent from the brain. However, PossessedHand can cause independent finger and wrist movement.
According to Emi Tamaki, Miyaki Takashi, and Jun Rekimoto of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo, the device can teach when and which fingers should be moved.
The device controls the user’s fingers by applying electrical stimulus to the muscles around the forearm and each muscle is stimulated via 28 electrode pads.
Muscles at different depths in the forearm can be selected for simulation by varying the stimulation level, the researchers said.
Additionally, PossessedHand can automatically calibrate the system for (different) individuals.
The automatic calibration system estimates relations between each electrode pad, stimulation level and muscle movement, the researchers said. Experiments show that PossessedHand can control the motion of 16 joints in the hand.
According to the researchers, the electrical stimuli is too weak to actually make the finger pluck a string of a musical instrument. However, the stimuli is strong enough to make the user know which finger ought to move.
The project began as a learning tool for those who wanted to learn music. However, the invention can have more serious practical purpose such as helping a stroke victim use his affected limbs.
The concept of PossessedHand is not new. Already there are devices that can send electrical stimuli into limbs to make them react in desired manner. For instance, electrodes can be inserted into the skin. There are also special gloves fitted with electrodes that can be worn over the hand.
However, the Japanese researchers feel that PossessedHand is more comfortable than the other existing devices
But one thing that cannot be fathomed is Sony's involvement. Is Sony planning something in the lines of Wii Fit or does it want the device to take over control of our hands so that we develop this irresistible urge to buy Sony products online.
A nifty device for sure, if you're willing to let your hand be possessed. Watch the video of PossessedHand below:
How many ways do you think this device can be used? Leave your comments below.