- Over at a Forum Nokia blog, Finnish developer and researcher Arto Holopainen has been talking about his company's physically operated game controller experiments, specifically the "idea of using muscles to control wirelessly mobile phone applications like games" - intriguing!

He explains: "Since the first case study [.PDF link], the muscle controlling has advanced quite far. Now the actual muscle controller is kind of wearable “sleeve” that is made of skin tight material like sport clothes. The “sleeve” has built in textile electrodes to measure EMG signal from muscles as well as integrated small Bluetooth enabled bio-amplifier to collect and to forward the information wirelessly."

He continues: "You just wear the sleeve and start using it. MuscleControl application in mobile phone receives muscle activity and translates it to phone commands. Instead of creating own games that uses the “sleeve” in closed-box like fashion, the beauty of MuscleControl is to act more like a joystick driver that can be used to control other applications. So basically you can use and configure it to commands you like. Nice isn’t it?"

What's more: "In addition to just for fun, the application can be harnessed for more serious use like muscle rehabilitation (games for health) and for help to disabled persons (to activate e.g. phone call with certain muscle activity). And of course one obvious usage is the sport exercises. Wouldn’t it be nice to monitor your muscle activity during your training and to get to report afterwards? There are some many applications for MuscleControl that I’m just wondering why this hasn’t been done before..." Neat stuff.

[Actually, speaking of the 'alternative mobile gaming' area, sister site GamesOnDeck has just posted a neat feature about proximity-based gaming from Tom Soderlund, creator of the game BotFighters.]