My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Neurosky, Mind Controlled Games and Movable Ears - CNET Crave's Alpha and Beta Future of Gaming

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Neurosky, Mind Controlled Games and Movable Ears - CNET Crave's Alpha and Beta Future of Gaming

The game is not worth the candle
(Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle)
Montaigne, Essays, II

Few development has me as excited as the gradual slow rise of mind controlled gaming as stated in the article “Mind-controlled gaming becoming a reality”, published Monday March 14 2011, 2:05 PM PDT, by Chris Morris, Yahoo News.

From the brilliant design engineers at Neurosky who developed hardware and code for Mattel's MindFlex Game that can harness the EEG (electroencephalography) or brainwave readings from your brain and nervous system to move a floating ball as stated in the article “Moving objects with Mattel's brainwave-reading Mindflex, published JUNE 26, 2009 2:13 PM PDT by Scott Stein, CNET News – Crave, this nascent field of Gaming is fast becoming crowded with other competitors.

Their software interprets the two (2) main types of brainwaves, alpha and beta (Greek for “a” and “b”); Alpha waves are associated with relaxation and Beta waves with concentration. Software combined with aesthetically pleasing EEG hardware filters and amplifies and interprets these brain waves into electrical signals. These are relayed to the gaming unit, thus allowing gamers to control the action in the games by relaxing (alpha waves) or concentrating (beta waves).

The words of Tansy Brook of Neurosky describe the potential of mind controlled games best, quote: “I'd say it's coming in the next 10 years. Right now, the most logical fits for us are casual games and serious games, like helping with stress management. As far as the more hardcore gaming stuff, it's coming. We are working with a leading game console provider who's interested in integrating the technology.”

Neurosky have even licensed their technology into headsets made by Toshiba that can determine your state of mind using your brainwaves and possibly help diagnose illness as stated in the article “Headphones: This is your brain on music”, published MARCH 2, 2010 1:05 PM PST by Juniper Foo, CNET News – Crave.

Competitors such as Interaxon  have developed similar EEG based tech that can potential allow airline passengers to play regular video games using brainwaves only as stated in the article “Brain-controlled games boarding planes soon?, published JULY 6, 2010 3:31 PM PDT y Leslie Katz, CNET News – Crave. Interaxon CEO Ariel Garten outlook on mind controlled games is also very positive, quote: “We think it's time that in-flight entertainment does more than simply distract you. We create in-flight experiences that offer value even after the flight is over.”

A big step, as it is mighty difficult for regular folks to concentrate and control complex movements in a game, let alone while flying.

A more practical application with a more playful slant is a pair of mind controlled Cat ears from Neurowear, now all the rage in Japan as stated in the article “Control these robot cat ears with your brain”, published MAY 13, 2011 5:00 AM PDT by Tim Hornyak, CNET News – Crave.

The concept of using you mind to control games is nothing new, having been a guinea pig of Atari called the Atari 2600 back in 1983. Fortunately this gaming rig, controlled by the tension in brain muscles, never made it to the commercial stages, shelved mainly due to early beta testers complaining of headaches.

So the million selling 3D Motion Capture Technology known as Microsoft Kinect may at some point in the future find itself being augmented with Neurosky to enable the user to not even move at all to play some games, relying solely on the stress concentration and even facial expressions or eye movements of the player.

In fact, Microsoft Kinect is more likely to find itself augmented to the soon-to-be-launched-in-2012AD Nintendo Wii as stated in my blog article entitled “Nintendo Wii vs Microsoft Kinect - War of the Worlds in Jodine Spark's BattleField” than the Tablet controller that made its debut at the E3 Conference in June 2011AD.

This Nintendo Wii Remote Tablet has the smell of vapourware, as no launch date has been yet announced, as Nintendo is better off going with licensing Israeli-based PrimeSense 3D Motion Capture Device and building their own branded gear similar to the Microsoft Kinect as stated in my blog article entitled “Internet, Apple iTV and Cable - Pirates of the Caribbean”.

PrimeSense 3D Motion Capture Technology can be augmented with Neurosky EEG Tech to also include EEG readings possibly determined from facial expressions and eye movements, making mind gaming a tantalizing possibility and what may be the next big thing in Gaming. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.