The video games you play with your mind - The Week

Companies like NeuroSky Inc., and Emotiv Systems are developing consumer-grade headsets that read the brain’s electrical signals to control onscreen action

A new head-mounted controller allows users to control the video games they play with their brainwaves -- and only at a cost of $130.

A new head-mounted controller allows users to control the video games they play with their brainwaves — and only at a cost of $130. Photo: neurosky.comSEE ALL 52 PHOTOS

The gaming controller of the future won’t have joysticks or buttons; it’ll wrap around your head. A number of companies like San Jose-based NeuroSky are developing affordable, consumer-ready controllers that takes cues from the electrical signals in a wearer’s brain to dictate onscreen action. Here, a concise guide to the new smart technology:

How does it work?
The head-mounted controller reads the brain’s electrical activity much in the same way that an electroencephalograph, or EEG, works. It then beams that information via BlueTooth to a connected smartphone. NeuroSky, Inc., which has made news with aStar Wars-based children’s toy called Force Trainer that let children suspend a ping pong ball in the air using a fan and their brainwaves, sells a mind-control headset called MindWave Mobile.

IBM Next 5 in 5: 2011 (by IBMLabs)

IBM unveils its sixth annual “Next 5 in 5” — a list of innovations with the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The Next 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.

In this installment: you will be able to power your home with the energy you create yourself; you will never need a password again; mind reading is no longer science fiction; the digital divide will cease to exist; and junk mail will become priority mail.

Thinking Your Way Through Traffic in a Brain-Control Car 
Source: Wired
BrainDriver uses off-the-shelf parts, including an electroencephalography system designed for gaming, to control an autonomous Volkswagen Passat. The car isn’t very fast, and it responds to only rudimentary  commands, but it brings us one step closer to the day we’re simply  passengers along for the ride in vehicles that drive themselves.
“The whole thing was not done as a real application for today, but as  a ‘technology push,’ as a proof of concept of what technology can  already achieve,” says Raul Rojas, a professor of artificial  intelligence at the Free University of Berlin. “An intriguing question  is how to ‘hybridize’ human and machine, and it was fun to try this with  our car.”

Thinking Your Way Through Traffic in a Brain-Control Car

Source: Wired

BrainDriver uses off-the-shelf parts, including an electroencephalography system designed for gaming, to control an autonomous Volkswagen Passat. The car isn’t very fast, and it responds to only rudimentary commands, but it brings us one step closer to the day we’re simply passengers along for the ride in vehicles that drive themselves.

“The whole thing was not done as a real application for today, but as a ‘technology push,’ as a proof of concept of what technology can already achieve,” says Raul Rojas, a professor of artificial intelligence at the Free University of Berlin. “An intriguing question is how to ‘hybridize’ human and machine, and it was fun to try this with our car.”

DARPA’s Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Could Be on the Market in Four Years
Source: Fast Company

Finally, laypeople will benefit from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) mad scientist projects (see: thinking cameras and flying Humvees). As part of its just-announced Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for breakthrough medical devices, the FDA will fast-track the review of DARPA’s mind-controlled robotic arm.
The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic.
DARPA’s prosthetic works much like a regular arm, with the ability to bend, rotate, and twist in 27 different ways. It is designed to restore almost complete hand and finger function to patients dealing with spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation.

DARPA’s Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Could Be on the Market in Four Years

Source: Fast Company

Finally, laypeople will benefit from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) mad scientist projects (see: thinking cameras and flying Humvees). As part of its just-announced Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for breakthrough medical devices, the FDA will fast-track the review of DARPA’s mind-controlled robotic arm.

The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic.

DARPA’s prosthetic works much like a regular arm, with the ability to bend, rotate, and twist in 27 different ways. It is designed to restore almost complete hand and finger function to patients dealing with spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation.

Fiber optic interface to link robotic limbs, human brain | KurzweilAI
Funded by a Department of Defense initiative dedicated to audacious challenges and intense time schedules, the Neurophotonics Research Center at Southern Methodist University will develop two-way fiber optic communication between prosthetic limbs and peripheral nerves. This connection will be key to operating realistic robotic arms, legs and hands that not only move like the real thing, but also “feel” sensations like pressure and heat. 

Fiber optic interface to link robotic limbs, human brain | KurzweilAI

Funded by a Department of Defense initiative dedicated to audacious challenges and intense time schedules, the Neurophotonics Research Center at Southern Methodist University will develop two-way fiber optic communication between prosthetic limbs and peripheral nerves. This connection will be key to operating realistic robotic arms, legs and hands that not only move like the real thing, but also “feel” sensations like pressure and heat.