NeuroSky, a California-based company, has developed a line of products that allow users to control hardware and software via brainwaves. The idea for these products stems from medical bio-sensor technology, which up until recently has been too costly for the mass consumer market.
Though aimed primarily at the consumer market, NeuroSky has high-expectations for these devices and plans on branching into industrial applications as well.
Products range from the ThinkGear-EM Module, a device that negotiates brainwave usage and transmits the signal via one of the two available neural headsets (one for commercial usage, the other industrial). This signal, once translated through software (such as the PC-based MindKit-EM), can be used for a variety of applications, ranging from mood-based music selection and communication assistance for the speaking impaired to distance learning and aid to the handicapped.
Seriously, the scope of what this technology can be applied to is staggering. NeuroSky hopes for these products to become standard usage in everything from online dating to government management. Quite an ambitious goal!
One of the more entertaining uses for this technology allows players to control video game characters in a hands-free manner. If the player is relaxed, the in-game avatar acts one way; if the player is focused, the avatar acts differently. Imagine how this would change the scope of gaming! It appears that Sega Toys has jumped onboard, so we can expect some truly innovative game play in the next few years.
It should be interesting to watch the world if this technology truly takes off. I think multi-tasking might be raised to a new level...
Sources: Press Release, NeuroSky
John Barker, our Guest Blogger, has eighteen years in the film and video industry where he is owed more money than he ever made. He's a chef, a Star Wars geek, and an overall nice guy.