What do you do when touchscreens just aren’t future-y enough anymore? Start controlling your iPad with your brain, that’s what.
That’s the idea that Toronto-based company InteraXon had, anyway. After making waves at the 2010 Winter Olympics for allowing people to control the lights on the CN Tower all the way from Vancouver via a thought-reading headset, the company turned around and started applying its thought-control tech to gaming.
One of the prototypes it plans to show off at the Consumer Electronics Show this year is a modified version of the iPad game Zenbound in which the players move and tilt the iPad to wrap rope around stuff. Working with developers Secret Exit, the game now works based on the strength of Alpha and Beta brain waves detected by a headset EEG. Because Alpha waves are produced by relaxation, and Beta ones by focus, the game requires combining relaxation and focus to enter a zen-like state of meditation.
This prompted Ariel Garten, chief executive of InteraXon to compare playing Zenbound to playing golf. “To play golf, for example, you have to be incredibly relaxed,” she said. “You also have to be highly focused on what you’re doing. That peak moment of ‘in the zone’ of focus and relaxation is the optimal state you want to be able to achieve.”
Garten points out that this means the technology and games can be used to train people to concentrate, perhaps allowing a way to fight against disorders like ADHD.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: When can you get your own magic brain headset and applicable games? Well, not soon. The mind-controlled version of Zenbound is only a tech demo, the only reason for its existence being to entice people with massive bags of extraneous money to invest.
If only InteraXon could take its technology to a massive gathering of wealthy tech nerds and even wealthier tech companies somewhere in Las Vegas. Tomorrow.
Oh, that’s right. It is.
Source: New Scientist