Imagine driving in your car. As you start to doze off, the car senses your state and slows itself safely to the side of the road; imagine as you are dozing off, the pillow senses your state and turns your TV off; imagine walking into a room and having your computer turn on just by it sensing that your focus is on it; think about scoring higher points in your game – be it archery, range shooting, golf, etc; imagine seeing your brainwaves control a three-dimensional puzzle as you track the height of a floating ball on cushion of air while navigating a maze of hurdles.
These, and many other new developments, are now possible with the electronic platform created by Stanley Yang of Neuro Sky’s MindWave. Stanley sees a day when heart attacks will be mitigate and seizures avoided, machines operated. Movies edited, games controlled, REM prolonged, sports improved and lessons learned all with the power of biosensors.
Bio sensors are moving out of the laboratory and into the home. Many games are now using the application as Mattel’s Mind Flex, where by focusing you can control a ball in the air and guide it toward various places in the maze. One of the most popular toys last Christmas, Mattel is now coming out with a two player version (and it’s almost sold out already!)
Technological advances in amplification, noise cancellation and others are lowering the cost of bio sensors. Neuro Sky’s biosensor headset digitizes brainwave signals to power the user-interface of games, computers, and investigative medial applications. NeuroSky technology accurately measures mental states as meditation and attention, which are different than actual thoughts. Sensing the user is in a state of calm is different than sensing the user likes the color blue. These mental states have powerful capabilities when integrated into video games education, sports coaching, meditation and other purposes.
“I was a big fan of Star Wars growing up and I wanted to help really create a force that could sense our emotions and assist us in communicating with our machines.” It was this inspiration that created the game Star Wars Force Trainer by Uncle Milton. Melding science and technology, he was driven by the simple mantra “What If?” The game follows the path of a young Padawan (you), who under the guidance of Yoda, learns to use his mind to telekinetically control the height of a sphere with enough precision to move from a Padawan to a Jedi Master.
Now Toshiba’s MindTune gives you a visualization of the mind as it reacts to music. Currently only available in Japan, the MindTune amplifies the Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta and Gamma brainwaves to create an audio-visual experience.
The base program of NeuroSky’s MindWave measures brainwave impulses from the forehead with a headset and communicates with the PC or Mac with a wireless USB plug. The original package comes with ten applications. These include SpeedMath, Meditation, BlinkZone, Archery, Tug of War, MindPlay and others –all which are geared to improving your focus and ability to relax. Integrating neuroscience in a special way, the SpeedMath monitors the student’s attention level when learning early grade arithmetic lessons. The cost of the single set is $99.
MindPlay, another application, is a movie viewing game that allows the mental state of the viewer to determine plot changes in the movie. For instance, if you are watching a horror movie and become scared, the movie will shift in one direction and if you decided to fight the monster, the movie will create a new ending for you . Another movie in the package is a terrorist thriller, which tests your skills and your courage. According to Trey Azam, CEO, these are great for training you to deal with situations in the real world – bullies, conflicts and build confidence.
Widely acknowledged as a “mental game”, golfers will immediately recognize the benefit and understand how their mind acts as an ally at all time and an adversary to others. The BrainAthlete Golf Trainer uses the NeuroSky ThinkGear built into the visor. With this, golfers are able to monitor their degree of meditation and attention. A coaching tool, it helps golfers to place themselves in the mental state where they are the most accurate with their swing. Currently available only in Japan, it will shortly be marketed here. www.b-bridge.com.
Currently there are over 30 games and educational applications that can be downloaded from their AppStore for a minimal fee.
The PLX X-Wave is neuroscience being produced to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to create situations that will exercise, entertain and educate your brain while on the go.
NeuroSky’s platform technology currently seeking other ways to partner and improve human /machine compatibility. “We pride ourselves on pioneering mass market, Brain Computer Interface technology (BCI) that is user friendly and cost effective. We actively support opportunities for broader and more socially beneficial applications of our technology. We are honored to be working with the world’s leading brands, universities, and minds in investigative studies on ADHD, autism, post traumatic stress disorders, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury and many others.
Time magazine named MindWave as one of their all time greatest toys.
I’m looking forward to my MindWave. I only wish I could mentally control my daughter, too.
For more information on NeuroSky go to www.neurosky.com