Friday, February 22, 2008

Mind-Controlled Video Games

Sci-fi is about to become reality there is a new game controller called the Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset which can open a world of possibilities for children and adults with disabilities that haven’t been able to play video games. Or people like me who are not coordinated enough to play video games beyond the arrow up and shoot button. Game developers have finally game out with a tool that ALL players can be equal participants in an electronic game.

The Emotiv Neuroheadset is a wireless game control that is designed to allow games to use their thoughts, expressions and emotions to control the game. According to the company the headset can detect facial expressions, emotions and cognitive actions like pushing and pulling objects. According to the company dictionary

No matter how exciting this is for your typical gamer, the possibilities for children and adults with disabilities are off the charts. How cool would it be for teenagers to actually play a game without needing to coordinate body movements, special switch arrays or special set-ups for access?

“The Expressiv™ suite uses signals measured by Emotiv’s neuroheadset to interpret player facial expressions in real-time. It provides a natural enhancement to game interaction by allowing game characters to come to life. When a player smiles, their character can mimic the expression even before they are aware of their own feelings. These expressions can be combined to communicate more complex non-verbal expressions such as "flirt , "look sexy”. ”surprised” or “angry”. Artificial intelligence can now respond to players naturally, in ways only humans have been able to until now.” When I first saw the device I thought children and adults with access issues. But after reading this I started to think of individuals with Autism. Making a game that helps them develop understanding of facial expressions.

As of right now the Neuroheadset will only be sold with the game developed specifically for it but other PC games can be used. The exciting part is that IBM Corp. is teaming up with Emotiv to investigate what the other potentials could be outside of gaming. They are going to explore how humans and computers can interact with each other using the Neuroheadset.
Close your eyes…… and make a wish because realistically the Neuroheadset isn’t that expensive $299.

I am in contact with the company to see if I can see this game control in person. I might need to take a trip to San Francisco. I know it’s a sacrifice but someone has to be the person to go. So I will volunteer my brain to check out the device.

There is not date that I could find for when this can be found in stores or online. They had the launch party on the 19th of February. But as soon as I hear, I will let everyone know where and when it can be purchased.
Another article to read:
Also check out the video:

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