Friday, 26 September 2008

Mind Reading Mobile!

The future (of playing games on your phone) has arrived. San Jose-based company Neurosky Inc. has developed a prototype of a mobile phone which reads brain waves and uses them in its applications. Premiered at a technology exhibition in San Francisco a week ago, web site TechOn reports the headset-shaped system consists of a sensor to read brain waves, digital signal processing part and so forth. The sensor contacts with a point on user's forehead.

By reading brain waves such as α and β waves, the system can roughly measure the degrees of brain's relaxation and concentration, NeuroSky said. The data of brain waves can be displayed on the screen of a mobile phone by using a visualizer or can be used to control the movement of a video game character.

By concentrating on objects and entering a zen-like state, attendees at the Game Developer's Conference in managed to push, pull and even burn on-screen objects.

NeuroSky has already sold development kits to home game console makers and game software developers, and they can now develop systems that use brain waves for operations. The company says it already has more than nine corporate customers.

The company exhibited the new system to show the usefulness of mobile phone application software developed by the kit.

"We prototyped and demonstrated the system to make it possible for our customers to imagine headset-like products," the company told Tech-On. For the future, the company is considering developing not only the systems that control home game consoles and mobile phones by brain waves but also those that control home-use audio-visual equipment.

"Project Millennia" is a multi-biosensor headset, initially targeting the gaming and market research industries and NeuroSky has teamed with technology partners Ascend Visual Systems, Inc., Eye-Com Corporation and Memsic, Inc. to support their phase-one objectives. These include the integration of brainwave (EEG) translations, 2-D accelerometer motion, eye-tracking and 3-D surround sound into a single headset.

The technology will be utilized to control various aspects of an avatar's movement and demeanor.

"NeuroSky´s breakthrough technology is creating a new dimension in human and machine interaction," said Ascend CEO Chern Lee. "Built with Essential Stereo technology, we are excited to incorporate the surround sound audio module with NeuroSky´s headset to create very natural sound effects while also offering comfort and reducing ear fatigue for gamers".

"Eye-Com Corporation envisions that the jointly developed Project Millennia by Eye-Com and NeuroSky will greatly change the way end-users interact with the simulated and real worlds. The integration of optical and neural sensory data has the opportunity to open doors that we have never considered," said Eye-Com CEO Dr. William Torch. "Think about how interactive games will change by giving the end user another tool to play the game – with and without manual dexterity! Think about how the games themselves will change 2008 and the future!"

"Memsic is excited to be working with NeuroSky to incorporate our proprietary accelerometer technology into their next generation gaming headset," says Dr. Yang Zhao, CEO of Memsic, Inc. "Moving forward I believe that there are many additional areas our companies can collaborate to create other groundbreaking applications and products".

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