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Behold "The Epoc" by Emotiv, the first consumer brain-wave driven controller. Note the built in battery, gyroscope and sensors.
The new headset from Emotiv can read your mind, or more precisely, your mind's electrical signals

Researchers have made great inroad into probing the mysteries of the mind.  IBM recently fully simulated a mouse brain using its Blue Gene supercomputers.  Researchers also have gained key insight into the nervous system and the senses, learning for the first time how the nervous system changes on the fly to create the sense of smell.

Now researchers have put their hard earned discoveries to the ultimate test -- video gaming.  DailyTech had previously reported on OCZ's progress in developing a "brain mouse" a long running project of OCZ's, which was demoed to DailyTech at CES '08.  Now another gaming company will challenge OCZ with plans to release to market a consumer mind control device for video gaming, late this year.

Tech firm Emotiv developed the advanced mind-controlled gaming device.  The device, titled "The Epoc," will retail for $299 and provide advanced control by reading electrical signals generated among the brain.  Among its key features is its ability to detect over 30 facial expressions, emotions and actions based on these signals.

OCZ vice president of technology development Dr. Michael Schuette is excited about the announcement.  "It is great ot see more efforts going into the same brain-computer-interface direction."

Tan Le, president of US/Australian firm Emotiv, says her company has achieved the first commercial grade brain-computer interface.  She describes its basic premise and potential, stating, "It picks up electrical activity from the brain and sends wireless signals to a computer.  It allows the user to manipulate a game or virtual environment naturally and intuitively."

Ms. Le describes the controller in more detail and Emotiv's unique line of business, explaining, "Emotiv is a neuro-engineering company and we've created a brain computer interface that reads electrical impulses in the brain and translates them into commands that a video game can accept and control the game dynamically."

A point emphasized by Ms. Le is that while the technology is existing, it has never been brought to the consumer market before.  She sums up this breakthrough, stating, "This is the first headset that doesn't require a large net of electrodes, or a technician to calibrate or operate it and [doesn't] require gel on the scalp.  It also doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars."

The Epoc relies on a technology known as Electroencephalography (EEG), a method of detecting of electrical signals from the brain.  The technology, which has been used in the medical field for over a hundred years spawned the idea of a brain-based controller in the 1970s.

One useful application of The Epoc in video gaming is to control avatars, virtual digitalized representations of the user.  By detecting facial expressions, a user wearing the headset who smiles will be mimicked by their in-game avatar.  The ability to insert facial expressions, such as winks and smiles into games will give them new depth according to Ms. Le.  For example, she said, If you laughed or felt happy after killing a character in a game then your virtual buddy could admonish you for being callous."

The device is worn comfortably on the users head and communicates wirelessly via a USB dongle plugged into the user's PC.  Besides its EEG sensors it also makes use of a built in gyroscope.  Among the supported abilities provided are excitement, meditation, tension and frustration; facial expressions such as smile, laugh, wink, shock (eyebrows raised), anger (eyebrows furrowed); and cognitive actions such as push, pull, lift, drop and rotate (on six different axis).

The device allows users to manipulate objects like never before in three dimensional game space, leaving many to fantasize what a game of Half Life 2 might be like with the device.  However the device isn't all fun and games.  Emotiv is also working with IBM to market the device to provide "strategic enterprise business markets and virtual worlds".  The device and its brethren are keys to developing a workable 3D internet and virtual communication, in the future, said Paul Ledak, vice president, IBM Digital Convergence.

Schuette adds, "As to what Emotiv has accomplished, it is virtually impossible for us to compare it with the Neural Impulse Actuator since we have never tested it, nor do we know of anybody outside their company who has."

While "The Epoc" may be a bit pricey, congratulations to Emotiv is deserved, for creating the first true consumer gaming brain interface.  The only remaining test is to see how well it can handle an intense round of competitive gaming.


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Yeah for gel
By othercents on 2/20/2008 5:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
does require gel on the scalp

Thats going to make gameplay interesting. "Wait, I got to reapply my gel".




RE: Yeah for gel
By EndPCNoise on 2/20/2008 5:28:22 PM , Rating: 5
uh, excuse me, that gel is meant for the head above your shoulders.


RE: Yeah for gel
By dflynchimp on 2/20/2008 8:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
It is the head above my shoulders!...at least in my current position!


RE: Yeah for gel
By qwertyz on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah for gel
By qwertyz on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah for gel
By helios220 on 2/20/2008 5:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm fairly sure that is a typo.

Learn a valuable lesson here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZIvgQ9ik48

You so smart.


RE: Yeah for gel
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 2/20/2008 6:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
It was incorrect at the BBC. We've since updated our article.


RE: Yeah for gel
By eye smite on 2/20/2008 6:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Yeah for gel
By eye smite on 2/20/2008 7:59:59 PM , Rating: 4
I see no one has a sense of humor.


here is a demo
By shuffle2 on 2/20/2008 6:46:49 PM , Rating: 3
RE: here is a demo
By Ringold on 2/20/2008 10:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
I was impressed by the technology..

Until I watched your link.

I won't be pulling out the plastic for this one. Maybe if it "learns" and becomes vastly easier, quicker, and more accurate to use, then I could get it a thought. I don't need to cause a nose bleed just trying to double-click on My Computer..


RE: here is a demo
By murphyslabrat on 2/21/2008 10:37:23 AM , Rating: 2
Luke Skywalker never could move more than a big rock.

No, seriously, I think that after you got accustomed to operating it, it would be pretty cool.


RE: here is a demo
By kyleb2112 on 2/25/2008 12:10:18 AM , Rating: 2
Well he didn't have Yoda there to help him.


I can't wait!
By idconstruct on 2/20/2008 5:37:42 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
...actions such as push, pull, lift, drop and rotate (on six different axis)


Imagine the impact this thing will have on the porno industry... ;)




RE: I can't wait!
By eye smite on 2/20/2008 6:42:00 PM , Rating: 3
Ok that got me laughing, 2 thumbs up. lol


Rip Off!!!
By GhandiInstinct on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Rip Off!!!
By Ringold on 2/20/2008 10:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
Based on the OCZ article, they dont need direct software support. Their drivers handle it.


RE: Rip Off!!!
By murphyslabrat on 2/21/2008 10:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
No, they're selling it for a huge markup because it will be a low-volume commodity. That is, of course, assuming that they are actually marking it up.

A shame though, because if it was closer to $100 I would almost certainly get it....I might still....It looks friggin' cool.


RE: Rip Off!!!
By AlphaVirus on 2/21/2008 11:07:07 AM , Rating: 2
Quit crying!

It says it will cost $300, that a great price considering it is "first of its kind". Can you say to yourself "Research and development". Since no other company has made anything like this to the general gaming public, everything started from the ground.

You better be thankful they even tried to bring the price to a reasonable point for you. Majority of high-tech gadgets such as this are marked at a point where only the rich and famous can have a shot at it or only the hardcore gamer can try.

Get your undies out of a bunch.


Hmmmm...
By siberus on 2/20/2008 11:00:30 PM , Rating: 3
But does it come in blue?




RE: Hmmmm...
By clovell on 2/21/2008 10:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
No, if they want the first gen to sell well and create a crazed and dedicated following, it will only be available in white.


Say No to Mind Control
By clovell on 2/21/2008 10:39:56 AM , Rating: 2
>Now another gaming company will challenge OCZ with plans to release to market a consumer mind control device for video gaming, late this year.

Probably should be mind-controlled... Unless I'm too late.




RE: Say No to Mind Control
By MAIA on 2/21/2008 12:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Probably should be mind-controlled... Unless I'm too late.


Hmmm ... as things look as of now, it probably isn't a mistake.

<insert Homer voice>"Buy more OCZ products, buy more OCZ products"</insert>


***cough-ugly-cough***
By das mod on 2/20/2008 7:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
i hope the manufacturing company implements color choices...

who in their right mind builds a white semi-hat to be worn mostly on dark hair scalps




RE: ***cough-ugly-cough***
By MAIA on 2/21/2008 12:03:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
who in their right mind builds a white semi-hat to be worn mostly on dark hair scalps


fgs please ! What's up with the damn color of this thing ! Do you mind about the color of money as well ?

Anyway, once you put it on, you can't see it. I just don't get what's the whole fuzz about its colors.

hmmmm .... are you a girl ? If so, i understand. kinda it must be the same color as your fingernails or something ...


MMO usage..
By Shawn5961 on 2/20/2008 7:48:17 PM , Rating: 3
"Hey man, why did you use a lesser heal instead of greater?"

"Oh, whoops, I forgot, greater heal is hotkeyed to smile, not wink."




Halo: Combat Evolved
By daftrok on 2/20/2008 5:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
This time we mean it!




Great
By EndPCNoise on 2/20/2008 5:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
New and improved upgrade to tin foil hats used at the Burning Man Festival.




one step closer...
By HighWing on 2/20/2008 5:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
This reminds me of the anime "Dot Hack". this device brings us one step closer to full immersion into games and 3d worlds.

Now if you combine this device with a video headset and head tracking unit, you've got yourself your own VR unit for any video game that could almost border line something like the holo-deck on Star Trek




Been waiting for this for years!
By cyberbian on 2/20/2008 9:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
This is definately not the first. All the others bombed.
This is the first, which has not bombed yet.

They need to get a Game Console vendor to buy into it, and get the price down, there is nothing like a guaranteed market, and large scale production to drop the price.

Getting subsidized by a lets say Oh, . . .Sony, would give the console manufacturer a killer edge in market as an exclusive feature for a while, while launching the inteface like a ballistic missile.

Lets see if these folks can market?




21st century PowerGlove
By tjr508 on 2/21/2008 2:36:32 AM , Rating: 2
You buy it, play with it for a few days until you realize it is stupid, then it becomes wasted closet space.




Drool on my sweet head gear
By Wayne Szalinski on 2/21/2008 11:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
Glows in the dark, I want one that sez ADDIAS




By Emryse on 2/21/2008 7:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
STAR WARS: JEDI KNIGHT 3!!!

It's simple - the Epoche to use the Force, and a replica lightsaber "wii wand" to capture lightsaber motions...

Brilliant!!! (And ridiculously geeky all at the same time.)




Feeding of your brain...
By WTurner on 2/22/2008 12:00:26 AM , Rating: 2
This reminds me of "The Box" from Batman Forever.




It does what?
By werepossum on 2/22/2008 8:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
So what does it do for $300?

Well, it allows your character to smile when you smile.

Marge, seriously! What does it do?
[/Cheap Simpsons bit]

Hey, for $300 I know a girl who will MAKE you smile, not just detect it.




Will..
By audiomaniaca on 2/24/2008 7:50:59 AM , Rating: 2
will it blend?




"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki














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