Author Archives: Kiel Gilleade

About Kiel Gilleade

I'm a computer scientist with a background in the development of physiological interactive systems. I have worked on a range of physiological interactive systems, including computer games, interactive artworks and life tracking. My research interests focus on the development and evaluation of physiologically interactive technologies. I currently based in Antibes, France.

Predictions for 2011

Well there goes by another year I don’t get to spend the holidays playing with the Wii Vitality. I’m beginning to think Nintendo have given up on the whole idea of biofeedback adapted gaming given the lack of noise they’ve made since the platforms original announcement in June 2009. I originally bought my Wii on the premise that Nintendo was going to start the ball rolling on integrating biofeedback interfaces into mainstream games, and to that effect have speculated several times on the type of experiences we might see and how they would work (e.g. action games, lie-detection, relaxation and fitness). However it looks like this device will remain vaporware for the foreseeable future. Continue reading

Night of the Biocybernetic Zombies

Last month we played host to our project partners in REFLECT, an EU research project aimed at the development of pervasive-adaptive systems (NB. Ferrari + heart monitor = awesome). For the evening festivities a Shiverpool tour was arranged. Shiverpool is a Liverpool based theatre performance in which the audience is taken on a night tour of the city by a spirit guide who regales his audience with stories about Liverpool’s supernatural past. The guide is also accompanied by several ghoulish friends (or fiends, depending if your the target of the next scare or not). To add a little bit more spice to the evening we brought along the heart monitors and wired up five members of our group to see once more Who’s afraid of Ghost Stories? Unfortunately not everything went to plan, we had a few issues with the hardware causing a significant level of data loss preventing a detailed commentary about individual responses as was done with Ghost Stories, so instead I thought it would a good time to talk about the heart monitors we use and the software platform that runs The Body Blogger which we used for this event. Continue reading

An evening with Stelarc

Stelarc, the famous performance artist known for his work on manipulating the human body and cybernetics, visited the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), based in Liverpool, earlier this month to talk about his recent projects. To our good fortune we managed to land an interview with Stelarc in order to discuss the intersection between his work and the field of Physiological Computing.

"Circulating Flesh: The Cadaver, The Comatose & The Chimera" a talk by Stelarc at FACT

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Announcing the CHI 2011 Workshop – Brain and Body Interfaces: Designing for Meaningful Interaction

I’m proud to announce the launch of the official webpage for Brain and Body Interfaces: Designing for Meaningful Interaction a workshop running at CHI 2011 May 7-11th 2011. You can subscribe to the workshop RSS feed here, where we will be posting all the latest workshop updates (social networking feeds will be following shortly).

I’ve created a subdomain to host the webpage to make it easier to remember

BioS-Play 2010 Workshop Experience Report – Part 1 of 2

Admin: Workshop papers can be found here.

Last month I attended the BioS-Play workshop at the Fun and Games 2010 conference over in Leuven, Belgium. I was presenting Physiology as XP – Bodyblogging to Victory, a position paper I co-wrote with Steve in which we extended the body blogging concept to computer games. In part 1 of this 2 part series of posts on BioS-Play I’ll be re-counting my experiences at the conference, as well as providing my thoughts on the likely research direction physiological games will take in the future.


The post is rather large so I’ve made a few quick links to provide readers a taster of what’s contained within.

  • EmRoll:  A 2 player co-operative children’s game which uses a mixture of gestures and biological interactions to control Gamboo, a 2 headed monster. What the Xbox 360 Kinetic might offer in the future.
  • Study investigating the effect of sharing physiological information in collocated and networked environments on measures of presence and emotion. Following on from Steve’s Valve post, what measurable benefits might shared physiology actually bring to multiplayer games like Left for Dead.
  • Workshop discussion, covers such issues as: how do we design meaningful physiological interactions and how do we evaluate the efficacy of the user experience of a physioloigcal interface?

The Workshop Theme

BioS-Play was aimed at exploring the use of biological signals (e.g. brain waves) in both a multiplayer and social gaming environment. For full details see the workshop proposal. Over the past decade there has been an up turn in using this class of physiological input in computer games, however the majority of such systems are designed for single player experiences. This is not really surprising, although such signals have been utilised by games since the 70’s,  bio-adaptive interaction was only used in a limited therapeutic capacity. It was not until the late 90’s, a period that saw the emergence of Affective Computing,  that we saw player physiology being used in more interesting ways (e.g. see MIT Media Lab Europe projects on affective feedback).
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VIP visit at Liverpool John Moores University and issues with BioHarness

Last Tuesday the former chancellor of the university, Cherie Booth visited our place of work in the School of Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University to see the labs in action. During our demo we were running two BioHarness chest-straps and the Enobio wireless EEG while myself (red/white shirt) and a volunteer (blue/white shirt) went head to head on Wii boxing.

Photos of the rest of the tour around the department can be found at LJMU’s Facebook page.
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Technical Difficulties

The Moody Web and Bodyblogger project are currently down for the time being as we transition to the new Twitter API. Should be back online over the weekend.


And we’re back online. Was expecting it take longer than my lunch break. Trying to sort this yesterday at Jelly Liverpool was a disaster as I’d somehow corrupted the mysql library trying to install CURL on the web server.

Making Data Meaningful

The problem with collecting in any amount of data is figuring out how to present that data in a manner that is meaningful for its intended audience. For example if you want to assess the physical effort you exert during a run a plot of physiological activity (e.g. heartbeat rate) against time will provide you with a relatively simple visual representation of how your body adapts to physical stress.

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