Control Machines With Your Brainwaves! Or Vice Versa.

Wouldn’t it be fun to manipulate objects with your mind? Oh, you can do that already? You just send a signal to your fingers? How about sending a signal to something other than your fingers?

Since last year, people have been playing with the Mindflex toy, explained this way by its Amazon page :

the game begins when you strap on the headset so you can use your powers of concentration to move the ball around the game console and through a mind-bending obstacle course. A dial-in console lets you to keep the ball lifted on a cushion of air, but raising and lowering the ball must be accomplished by alternating concentrating and relaxing your mind.

Some users report that the forehead sensor is uncomfortable. Others may have trouble producing brainwave patterns that the controller finds satisfactory. Don’t worry! According to the Los Angeles Times, you may get plenty of other chances to practice :  

For now, consumer product companies see opportunity.

Honda Motor Co. is among the automakers spending research dollars on mind-control features.

“If you have a lot of groceries, wouldn’t it be convenient if you could think, ‘Open up trunk,’ and the trunk would open?” spokesman David Iida said. “These are all possible applications to everyday life.”

The Mindflex is just one of the products, the Times reports, that have been made possible by the work of a San Jose company called Skynet NeuroSky.

NeuroSky simplified the brain-wave reading technology down to a single dry sensor pressed on the forehead; combined with reference points that look like dime-sized buttons on one ear pad, the headset can read relevant brain signals while filtering out noise, including blinking and electrical activity from outlets.

In addition to selling technology to Mattel and Uncle Milton, NeuroSky sells its own version of mind-reading headsets. For this Christmas season, it will market the Mindwave, a $99 PC-compatible headset along with a suite of three to six games.