mouse seemed revolutionary at CES '08, but now by the looks of
things it better hurry up and release its product or be left behind
in 2008. Following fast on the heels of the announcement from
Emotiv that it will bring
the brain-input "The Epoq" to consumers late this year,
rival firm NeuroSky Inc. announced that its similar
headset, "MindSet" was released to wholesalers, and
will soon be in consumers hands.
Both Emotiv and NeuroSky have
been crafting their products for some time now, but it looks like
NeuroSky may beat Emotiv to the market. NeuroSky, based out of
San Jose, Calif., will sell the headset for approximately
$50 per unit to wholesalers. The device communicates
wirelessly with game consoles, cell phones, and PCs. A more
complex prototype of the unit, a model for future editions dubbed
"Project Millenia" popped up at the Game Developers
Conference in San Francisco last week. Aside from brain
control, it also featured surround sound headphones to complete the
experience, a nice extra perk for gamers.
NeuroSky already has
existing contracts with Sega
Toys Co. in Tokyo and Musinaut in Paris for the device.
Musinaut plans to put the device to work in an interactive music
technology that controls a user's music based on their thoughts and
NeuroSky's device also uses EEG technology, like
Emotiv's unit, but the initial version is slightly simpler in
implementation with fewer options in gaming. Gamers will be
able to control such actions as “lift,” “move,” and “burn"
with the device. A demo video from a Discovery Channel special
can be seen
Stanley Yang, CEO of NeuroSky compared the device's
use to Tiger Wood's focus on the golf course, stating, "We want
to support the fourth-dimension in the gaming
experience—incorporating the mental states of the player. When
Tiger Woods hits a golf ball, there are certain mental preparations
that he undergoes. We can build these aspects into the virtual game,
The device utilizes NeuroSky ThinkGear-EM
technology. Last year NeuroSky released its "MindKit SDK",
a development environment where programmers can design controls based
on the device to provide unique and flexible applications.
NeuroSky plans on releasing an updated SDK, "MindKit-EM",
based on the ThinkGear-EM technology in March 2008.
feels his company's product is easy to develop for and has a strong
consumer appeal. He states, "We looked at market research
data about what would attract the general gaming population to not
only use, but to purchase a brainwave-controlled headset. Of
course, pricing is always important, but other challenges faced by
NeuroSky were that its products had to be simple to wear,
aesthetically pleasing and have a ‘near zero´ learning curve.
We kept it simple to encourage greater rates of adoption. Most people
have never heard of this stuff, let alone used it. Unlike our
competitors, we focused on simplifying the technology to its most
basic element—a single sensor."
NeuroSky even believes
that the device may be able to help
cure ADHD in children -- no
drugs necessary. According to NeuroSky, MindSet can allow
children to play games to teach their brains to be calm. Once
children afflicted with ADHD perfect the art of mind control, they
should be able to apply this to the rest of their daily activities,
including school and athletics, according to NeuroSky.
how much fun the brain-controllers are remains to be seen, but with a
flexible SDK and an on market product, NeuroSky's announcement is
certainly exciting news for gamers and fans of high technology.
Expect Emotiv and OCZ to not be far behind, truly making 2008 the
year of electronics mind control.