Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Moving virtual objects with your mind....yes your mind!

Back in 2004, BBC news wrote an article about MIT Media Lab Europe that had demonstrated a new wireless headset that could potentially control electronic devices from brain wave power. Seems like science fiction....but this will soon be on the market available for you and I to buy.

Two companies that I have read about presently have mind control game controllers in prototype are Emotiv Systems and NeuroSky .

Emotiv Systems started up in Australia and state on their website they should be ready for the consumer market sometime next year. "Their headset consists of 16 sensors that are hooked up to a wireless transmitter that can send signals to your PC or video games. The unit can detect facial expressions, record emotions or to use ideas/thoughts to control actions in a game." They are working to develop their headset so it can also be used with other games that you presently own. Their research team is working on this amazing technology and exploring other areas other than video games where their system can be used.

NeuroSky is the company that initially sparked my interest in this area. Two weeks ago I was watching the morning news in a hotel room in Singapore and a news report came on about a company that had developed a technology that used brain power to move objects in a virtual world....this was NeuroSky. This company is based in Silicon Valley with business operations in Asia. An article written about NeuroSky in USA Today writes that NeuroSky headset "captures brain wave signals measuring anxiety, attention, drowsiness, and meditation levels." The NeuroSky development team have a contract with an "international toy manufacturer that plans to unveil an inexpensive gizmo with an embedded NeuroSky biosensor at the Japan Toy Association's trade show in late June. A U.S. version is scheduled to debut at the American International Fall Toy Show in October."


Think of the possibilities. How will this change the physical learning environment? What impact will this have on how students learn or teachers teach? Will it alter how we communicate with one another?

Thinking of how this technology can be applied in various industries such as medical, transportation, etc... is mind boggling!

I encourage you to go to the websites and read about this new technology. It would be a great discussion in any classroom!

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