Play games via thought

  1. Another device to the ever expanding gaming & gadgets cupboard.,25197,23257591-12377,00.html

    Every nerd's childhood dream comes true

    By Andrew Ramadge, Technology reporter | February 22, 2008

    A NEUROHEADSET that allows the wearer to play video games simply by thinking has been unveiled at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and will go on sale later this year.

    The Emotiv EPOC "brain-computer interface device" looks like a headphone strap with 14 neurosensors that branch off it like fingers. The sensors sit on the sides of the temple and top of the head.

    The device can detect conscious thoughts, areas of brain activity, facial expressions and even some emotions such as frustration, shock and anger, and will cost about $US300 ($326) when it is released later this year.

    The EPOC will ship with a range of games designed specifically for the headset, but gamers will also be able to use it with existing PC titles by mapping certain thoughts to keystroke patterns.

    "Being able to control a computer with your mind is the ultimate quest of human-machine interaction," said Emotiv Systems CEO, Nam Do.

    "When integrated into games, virtual worlds and other simulated environments, this technology will have a profound impact on the user’s experience."

    Gaming journalist Brian Crecente, who tried the EPOC at the conference, said the sensation of having his thoughts affect actions on the screen was "quite strange".

    "To start you need to quickly synch your brain, teaching the computer to recognise the thought you use to perform the specific action. In my case I imagined the box in the centre of the monitor drifting away," he said.

    "After doing this for a second or two, while the program 'recorded' they asked me to give it a try and it worked. Imagining the box floating up off the top of the screen, I was surprised to see it waver and then slowly move upwards until it disappeared.

    "I laughed in surprise and the box immediately dropped back down again."

    Emotiv also said it would work with computer giant IBM to explore potential business uses for the technology, including virtual training and simulation courses.

    "As interactions in virtual environments become more complex, mice and keyboards alone may soon be inadequate," said vice-president of IBM's digital convergence division Paul Ledak.

    "BCI (brain-computer interfacing) is an important component of the 3D internet and the future of virtual communication."