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Input Devices Games Science

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the oh-hey-it's-real dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface." One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.
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Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21

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  • by EdZ (755139) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @06:31AM (#30308808)
    Looks like it actually is approaching a reasonable number of electrodes, unlike other the bunch of other 'brain control' devices (a pair of electrodes on your forehead does not an effective EEG make). Still too few for any sort of fine control, but you might just be able to get 2d bang-bang direction control going with a large amount of practice.
    Of course, if it costs something ridiculous, then it's probably easier to make your own [sourceforge.net].
  • interesting (Score:2, Informative)

    by dwarfenhoschi (1494927) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @06:32AM (#30308818) Journal
    It will be very interesting to see how this works out. It tested the last "Brain Control Device" (i think it was from a german company) at the Games Convention 2008 and was very surprised to see it working...with some learning of course.
  • Re:just bad (Score:4, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @06:58AM (#30308906)
  • by citizenr (871508) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @07:22AM (#30308994) Homepage
    OCZ one doesnt work at all, or barely.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @08:11AM (#30309140)

    As someone who has done research int brain-computer interfaces, most BCI devices created for games are really measuring EMG, which is electrical noise created by muscle movements. A pair of electrodes on your forehead can only really effectively measure small muscle movements in your forehead.

    On the other hand, this looks like a regular 16 electrode cap with one ground and one reference.

    I wonder how they bypassed the need for gel...

    By the way, $299 is actually a fairly reasonable price for a good cap. I wonder what the biological amplifier costs, though. If it is included in the price (or within the cap) then $299 really is a very good price for such a device.

  • Actually it does. (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrYak (748999) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @08:29AM (#30309218) Homepage

    Of course. Since it's gaming device, Linux enthusiast are their main market.

    Actually, they are also targeted neuro- and psycho- scientist who might be interested in such a mass marketed, dead-cheap(*), over-simplified EEG.
    The company provides SDK [emotiv.com], which are also usable on Linux.

    It's the exact same situation as with GPU, which are both consumer mass product for playing games (OpenGL & DX) *and* are interesting to scientist looking for cheap of-the-shelf parts (for OpenCL and CUDA).

    (*) : The *device itself* is cheap. In order to unlock full access to all the data and let the scientist play with what they want, the free-as-in-beer SDK isn't enough and they have to pay for research SDK.
    But still, the whole stuff isn't as expensive as medical-grade EEG installations.

  • Re:Actually it does. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @09:19AM (#30309396)

    They aren't targeting scientists. This is clear because it's scientifically useless until they're willing to supply raw data through the SDK. All it provides is their proprietary interpretation of the signals. This is beside the substantial performance issues.

  • Re:just bad (Score:2, Informative)

    by gr3kgr33n (824960) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @12:02PM (#30311136) Homepage Journal
    This is a VERY old diagram. It shows how the design was intended 3 years ago.

    If your going to cite diagrams, use one from the actual product. http://audivolv.com/emotivEpocMindReadingHelmet.jpg [audivolv.com]

    As for previous comments on "conductive goo", the emotive epoc uses felt pads with a saline solution for conductivity. If you will notice, the owner and lead researchers are both women with thick, long hair and they have no problems using the device.

    Linux support is in the works (Read: Drivers are under development); however, since their target is gamers, this is not their priority at the moment.

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