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'I felt like my body was hacked' says subject of Possessed Hand experiment

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possessed-handONE of the guinea-pigs of experimental new 'Possessed Hand' technology, backed by Sony, says she felt like her body had been hacked.


Possessed Hand is a technology which allows a computer to take over the limb movement of willing participants.

It is aimed at allowing users to play complex musical instruments without ever practising and to help rehabilitate stroke victims and others with limb control problems.
Possessed Hand is being developed jointly by the University of Tokyo, Japan, and Sony Computer Science Laboratories.

A wrist band with 28 electrodes stimulates the muscles in the forearm that the fingers – effectively talking control of the wearer's hand.

And already the system has 'taught' non-musicians how to play the Japanese stringed instrument known as a koto, which is fiendishly difficult.

One of the research team's guinea pigs said: “I was completely over-taken. I felt like my body had been hacked.”

But Emi Tamaki of the University of Tokyo, who led the research said: “The user's fingers are controlled without the user's mind.

“We believe convenient technology will overcome a feeling of fear.”

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