Emotive Systems Inc. recently demonstrated a new gadget which looks like a headset, or is actually a headset, but does much more than that. The headset's sensors are designed to detect conscious thoughts and expressions as well as "non-conscious emotions" by reading electrical signals around the brain. The company, which unveiled a prototype last year, says the headset can detect emotions such as anger, excitement and tension, as well as facial expressions and cognitive actions like pushing and pulling objects. Some of the smart interpretations of this gadget include acknowledging meditation, tension and frustration; facial expressions such as smile, laugh, wink, crossed eyes, shock (eyebrows raised), anger (eyebrows furrowed), horizontal eye movement, smirk and grimace (clenched teeth); and cognitive actions such as push, pull, lift, drop and rotate (on six different axis) as well as a completely new category of action based on visualization, the first of which is the ability to make objects disappear.
The headset will be sold with a game developed by Emotiv, but it can also be made to work with existing PC games, the company said. Users will also be able to access an online portal to play more games, chat or upload their own content such as music or photos.
Emotiv plans to work with IBM Corporation to explore applications beyond video gaming. The "brain computer interface" technology could transform not only gaming, but how humans and computers interact, said Paul Ledak, vice president of IBM's Digital Convergence business. Emotiv Systems Inc. plans to start selling the $299 EPOC neuroheadset sometime in the latter half of 2008. Check out a first-hand review from someone who experienced it at the Conference. The Emotiv EPOC Headset looks cool and while I think that the technology is fascinating, even stunning at times, it's hard to tell at this point whether it has real world practical video game applications. Plus, mind control is a very sensitive issue, and if it can be used for simple motives like playing video games, when misused, it can also have dangerous implications. Reserve one of these headsets today and find out for yourself!
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