Biosensors Help Build Personalized Amusement Rides

by MedGadget | Submitted Saturday Mar 14, 2009 [10:34 AM]

Test riders await a run on the ride with biofeedback sensors in place.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham are studying a personalized roller coaster system from Thrill Laboratory, a project by designer Brendan Walker and colleagues. The system measures the heartbeat of riders and also transmits what the face of each person looks like back to central controls. The hope is to be able to adjust amusement park rides to maximize enjoyment without causing too much fear.

From UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC):

The University of Nottingham feasibility study is examining whether fairground rides might be able to automatically adjust the thrill level they deliver, moment by moment, depending on the excitement, boredom, fear etc experienced by people using them.
Professor Steve Benford of the University of Nottingham, lead scientist behind the study, says: “If we can establish that biodata gathered on a ride closely correlates with the way a person actually feels, it could open up huge opportunities for future ride design. Biodata could be used to influence how a ride behaves, leading to improved rider experience.”

Extensive data gathered with Thrill Laboratory on rides at Alton Towers, both partners in the study, is now being analysed to explore the link between biodata and emotions.

The key will be to see whether the data allows physiologically similar but emotionally opposite feelings (e.g. excitement and fear) to be differentiated.

If they can, the rides of tomorrow could use wireless sensors to capture biodata from a rider and then, based on this information, automatically take action to increase or decrease the ride’s intensity and so enhance the rider’s enjoyment.

Yet another possibility is to display biodata, in real-time, close to a ride, enhancing spectators’ enjoyment by giving them a better sense of what riders are actually experiencing.

If it were us, we'd putting a live ECG ST analysis system on every seat of every ride.

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Tags:biosensors  feedback  neuro+transmitters  signal+procesing  brain 

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