Researchers at Stanford University have developed a prototype control pad that monitors the autonomic nervous system via peripheral signals detectable in a player's hands, such as heart rate, movement, perspiration and respiration rate.
The modified Xbox 360 controller uses multiple biometric sensors, and researchers can use the data harvested in addition to game data to draw conclusions about the player's mood and reactions.
In a Stanford news post, creator Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, the technology could be used to design games that respond to players.
"If a player wants maximum engagement and excitement, we can measure when they are getting bored and, for example, introduce more zombies into the level," he said.
"We can also control the game for children. If parents are concerned that their children are getting too wrapped up in the game, we can tone it down or remind them that it's time for a healthy break."
I can also think of some pretty great horror applications, ala Nevermind.
This is definitely not the first time this kind of biometric use has been touted in gaming; Valve uses biometrics when testing games, and we did expect biometric sensors to grace the Steam Controller.