Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset: Mind-Controlled Video Games

[GDC 2008] Last year, we published about Emotiv, a brain/computer interface headset prototype launched at GDC 2007. Today, Emotiv unveiled the EPOC neuro-headset that allows gamers to control a video game using their thoughts, expressions and emotions. This consumer product is lighter, better designed and has more features than the prototype:

The Expressiv Suite (identifies facial expressions in real-time, so characters respond to the expressions of the player), has 30 new expressions in addition to the existing smile, blink and wink.

The Affectiv suite is now able to detect and respond to tension, frustration and meditation. Games will be able to respond dynamically to player emotions, enabling, for example, difficulty adjustment on the fly.

In addition to the movement-based actions (push, pull, lift, drop and rotate), the Cognitiv suite has a new category of detection based on visualization: the player is now able to command objects disappearance.

Now the brain synchronizing process (a calibration step for each user) is way faster than before, taking as little as 6 seconds. I tested the headset to rotate the cube on the screen (see photo). At first, the demo was not too convincing because the rotation was very slow, but when I switched my thoughts to my first language, the rotation speed increased immediately!

This technology is very exciting, controlling machines with the mind has been the ultimate dream for decades, and it seems that Emotiv is on its way to implement this “crazy” idea… for only $299 in late 2008. It will ship with compatible games (unknown titles). Pre-order from emotiv.com

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