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Jun 29, 2009

Tapping Into the Force

By Natalie Boike

I recently stumbled across the Web site for NeuroSky,a biosensor company that makes brain-computer interface technologies. Their primary product, the MindSet, “measures brainwaves to identify specific mental states and communicates these states as commands.”

Currently, this tool’s primary application is for video games and research devices. For example, a Force Trainer game is planned for release yet this summer. Plugging into the large fan-base of the Star Wars franchise, users employ the MindSet technology to move a training sphere up and down a tower: the ultimate test of a Jedi’s level of the “The Force.”

The buck doesn’t stop there. Those interested in applying this technology and creating a game or application can do so for free. NeuroSky offers a set of development tools you can download today. Languages directly supported include C/C++, C#, Java and J2ME. If you create an application the company deems appropriate, they’ll host and sell your program on their site, and return an undisclosed percentage of the sales back to you.

While it seems like the NeuroSky’s current focus is in the commercial arena, it seems there are multiple applications that could be quite pragmatic in the medical field and beyond. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on this technology as it evolves.


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