Valve made a 'tongue controller', reveals Gabe Newell

Boss discusses advances in next-gen controller technology

Valve is known as a company that likes to experiment, and it seems there no end to the ambitions of the firm's futuristic visions.


Speaking with VentureBeat, Valve honcho Gabe Newell revealed that the firm has experimented with a "tongue controller".

"This is super-nerdy. You can come back and tease us about this years from now," he said, before explaining, "When you look at all of the muscles in your body, if you think of them as SCSI or USB, it turns out that your tongue is a pretty good way of connecting a mechanical system to your brain."

If you thought blowing into your DS on the train made you look like a right berk, how do you like the sound of a tongue-controlled game?

So will we soon be performing headshots with our tastebuds? No. "It's really disconcerting to have the person you're sitting next to going, 'Arglearglargle'. 'You just Googled me, didn't you?' I don't think tongue input is in our futures," said Newell.

But Gabe had plenty of interesting things to say about the future of computer controller interfaces. "But I do think you'll have bands on your wrists, and you'll be doing stuff with your hands. Your hands are incredibly expressive. If you look at somebody playing a guitar versus somebody playing a keyboard, there's a far greater amount of data that you can get through the information that people convey through their hands than we're currently using."

Gabe reckons touch-screens aren't the answer. "Touch is... it's nice that it's mobile. It's lousy in terms of symbol rate."

Earlier in the interview, he said, "If you look at the mouse and keyboard, it was stable for about 25 years. I think touch will be stable for about 10 years. I think post-touch, and we'll be stable for a really long time - for another 25 years. I think touch will be this intermediate...."

He goes on to discuss the interesting potential augmented reality and the challenges of gesture-based controls. "I type 150 words a minute. Having to do anything with my arm is a really bad idea," he said. Check out the full interview through the link.

[ SOURCE: VentureBeat ]