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Controlling computer with your thoughts might become mainstream sooner than you think

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posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 08:59 PM
OCZ preps neural headband controller for release

The concept behind the device is, in its way, relatively simple. The headband has a trio of sensors across the front, and those sensors read electrical impulses in various frequency ranges, which equate to a number of different facial movements and—so it would seem, at least—patterns of thought.

Schuette mapped the most basic controls to the facial muscle inputs, but the most impressive input had to be his "jump" key, which he mapped to one of the brain wave readings and activated via what he called his "Tourette's impulse." Basically, he'd think of an expletive, and his character would jump.

One of the things that surprised me about using the headband is how, well, cerebral it is to use. I expected to be contorting my facial muscles wildly in order to use it, but in reality, it's best to relax and gently control things. On top of that, something about the experience of using it is difficult to articulate but intuitive to apprehend.

In other words: Freaky! It's a brain control thingy!

Just as Scott said, I too skeptical about the device's immediate utility as a gaming controller. But just as the cellphone quickly becomes a necessity, and how excited people about the nintendo wii, the wireless and more portable version of the headband may one day becomes part of the everyday household.

However, when then have actually perfected the technology for mind reading, I definitely don't want anyone such as Google to index my thoughts.

[edit on Mon, 14 Jan 08 by Jazzyguy]

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 02:16 PM
I know a little bit about these devices, since i also work with NeuroFeedback devices - EEG, EMG...

Since the headband is on the forehead it measures brainwaves as well as facial muscle impulses.

It is actually possible to move a cursor around the screen with a lot of training - you need to learn to controll your brainwaves directly.

For clicks they simply use an eye blink, since it sends a "huge" electrical impulse in the signal. Huge, compared to the brainwaves..

But you are right it wouldn't really work as a game controller. EEG can't measure thoughts just brainwaves. And on the forehead you don't even get all that many. Every lobe has a different brainwave. For something serious, they would have to use more electrodes all over the head, but then it would be much less practical.

In my experiments, the best i could do was "play" a piano (MIDI) with my "thoughts". I filtered out the Alpha brainwaves, used their frequency as the note to be played, and the amplitude as it's volume.

Then i sent these filtered signals from the left hemisphere to the left speaker and the right hemisphere to the right speaker.

After closing my eyes, it sounded like a maniac was beating on the piano. But with some practice, the "melody" became less and less chaotic and started giving the appearance of a pattern.
When both hemispheres were synchronised, i would hear the same tone from both speakers at the same time.

It's quite interesting, what level of control can be achieved, when unconscious physiological responses are presented in such a way. You can effectively learn creating any brainwaves at your will - altering the state of mind at the same time...

Anyway, this technology is interesting and may lead somewhere someday, but for now, simply tracking where your eyes are looking would be more effective and way more simple to use.


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