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Input Devices Games Science

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

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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  • Conductant? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @06:31AM (#30308812) Homepage Journal

    Back when I had regular EEGs a technician would spend about ten minutes squeezing conductive cream onto my scalp before clipping the electrodes on. If you don't use a conductive liquid your signal is going to have to pass through your hair, which doesn't sound good for their N/N ratio. So what's it going to be? Shaved heads or washing your hair after gaming?

  • Great video (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @06:32AM (#30308820)

    After watching the video, a very specific quotation comes to mind.

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.
    - Andy Finkel

    If you look at the hardware itself, there is a gyroscope attached. Hence, when the fat white guy wants to lift the stone, he leans his head back. I suppose you are to watch him wave his hands, but the real action is going on literally on his head.

    Now if someone could build an iPhone app that can do this, we'd have all the same functionality at an even higher price!

  • Re:Conductant? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Voulnet ( 1630793 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @06:43AM (#30308852)
    You don't need conductive gel at all. My graduation project was using EEG to allow disabled people to control a PC, and we did not use conductive gel, at all. Conductivity was very good.
  • Re:Obligatory (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dintech ( 998802 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @06:48AM (#30308864)

    One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.

    Early ones.

  • by RockoTDF ( 1042780 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:17AM (#30310432) Homepage
    He isn't talking about some evil mind control, what he is saying is that when you learn and use your brain, connections change. Therefore, if you are trying to get the "up" motion on the keyboard down, there will be a change in your brain activity that will be reinforced by getting it right. So yes, he is right that using this device will change how things are working, but such change would be no different than learning to type in Dvorak or using a different controller for the first time. Nothing dangerous.
  • I looked into creating such a system a few years ago. After a bit of research, I decided I wasn't that brave -- certainyl the technology existed even then to do it, but here's what I ran into: requiring a person to learn (via biofeedback) to force certain brainwave patterns, and to repeat them often and for long periods of time, is not necessarily a Good Idea. What research I could find at the time showed that there may be potentially negative effects (inducing epilepsy was one such, in people who had no prior history). But more than that, I mostly found a huge unknown - there were few real studies on how this could affect a person.

    Until such a device can interpret thoughts as we have them, without requiring the user to "think" certain patterns... I think I'll hold off on buying mine.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @12:55PM (#30312172)

    I have the development release and the electrodes use cotton-like "wicks", which are wetted with saline. While I am not familiar with other EEG devices, this does not require an external amplifier, and is connected wirelessly to a USB dongle.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.