Blog entries about Emotiv device, which allows you to control objects with mind power

Emotiv – Mind Power Controls Reality

A bit a while ago I told you about controlling objects with gestures (Nymi and Myo). This time I have something even more amazing. How about changing reality by the force of… mind!

This sounds like a science fiction, but you can already pre-order a stylish “iPhone-like” helmet, which allows you to play video-games, control toys (like helicopters or racing cars) and even drive a wheelchair!

Let’s take a closer look. Device is named Emotiv Insight and connects to computer (or smartphone, wheelchair etc) wirelessly via Bluetooth. Yes, no annoying wires, nothing like that. Helmet uses five sensors (dry ones, no gel), which measure electrical activity of certain brain zones and guesses what you meant right now.

Every brain is a bit different, so first you need to calibrate Emotiv by letting it know, how your brain behaves when you think about “up”, “down”, even “disappear”. After it learns, your thoughts will trigger this or that action. Simple and brilliant!

Team behind Emotiv is led by ambitious Tan Le, I found an video from 2010 (imagine, how it improved since then!!), where she demonstrates early prototype. This blows my mind!

Currently there are four main usage scenarios:

  • Computer games. Control objects without using keyboard or joystick. Of course, it applies more to non-action scenarios with slower gameplays at the moment. I think, it is a bit early to shoot enemies in Counter Strike or Call of Duty.
  • Real world toys. This is much more interesting — helicopters, cars, boats etc. Some additional programming might be needed.
  • Freedom for disabled. It is already possible to control wheelchairs and simply computers by disabled people. This makes their lives much easier and bright.
  • Analyse own brain. Emotiv provides an app, which checks your brain activity on different occasions and provides intelligent advice. Maybe you can learn more, while listening to Mozart? Or Justin Bieber? 🙂

Emotiv Insight Control

In addition, Emotiv has 6-axis inertial sensor (roll, pitch, yaw, vertical, lateral, longitudinal acceleration), which gives you even more flexibility and control. Basically, it tracks head movements, nods, etc.

How much does this candy cost? There is no official price at the moment as you can only register for a queue, but you can have a fairly good approximation by looking at Kickstarter prices.

$229 for consumer edition, $329 for Developer edition (access to SDK to create your own apps), $429 for Research edition (all above + access to raw brainwave data for extensive analysis). Delivery was promised around March/April 2014.

I am a bit surprised that SDK kit costs something because it should be Emotiv team’s own intention to build the interest to this innovative yet quite unknown device. But anyway this promises to be an amazing experience, will be watching for a mass production.

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