Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mind-controlled Headsets for games

Emotiv, the San Francisco neuro-engineering company with research labs in Australia, believes that future communication between human and machine will be inputted directly from gamers' minds.

And they have proved their point. The Emotiv headset makes it possible for games today to be controlled and influenced by the player's mind.
Based on the latest developments in neuro-technology, Emotiv has developed a new personal interface for human computer interaction.
Emotiv has recently presented the first consumer brain computer interface at the Game Developers Conference 2008, and has introduced its Software Development Kit (SDK) together with the Beta version of the headset controller hardware to developers and designers.

The brain is made up of approximately 100 billion nerve cells, which are called neurons. With the billions of active neurons, the brain tissue contains a myriad of active current sources that cause the local electrical potential to endlessly fluctuate with a great deal of variability.
Each human brain is unique, both physically and functionally. The folding of the cortex of the human brain is also highly individual, meaning the way in which the external surface of the brain is folded individualizes the potentials, regardless of how functionality is mapped in each brain. Using non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG), the measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain as recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp, it is possible to observe each person's individual electrical brain activity.

By detecting and classifying both human conscious thoughts and non-conscious emotions, it is possible for computers to to be controlled and influenced by the user's mind.
The Emotiv headset uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals naturally produced by the brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expression. It connects wirelessly with all game platforms from consoles to PCs.

Applications for the Emotiv technology can span numerous industries, such as interactive television, accessibility design, market research, medicine, or even security, although the company is currently focusing on the electronic games industry.

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