Emotiv taps into the power of The Force
An Australian company is showing off a new gaming helmet it claims can read people's brainwaves and facial expressions to enable them to interact with video games.
Emotiv System's ambitious contraption is called Project Epoc, and boasts an array of sensors that will, the company claims, pick up player's thoughts, feelings and expressions.
These signals are interpreted by the company's software and translated into how the game is controlled and how characters interact with you.
There are three key software elements accompanying the hardware: Expressiv, Affectiv and Cognitiv. Expressiv identifies facial expressions to allow games developers to create characters that will interact with you accordingly while Affectiv measures players' discreet emotional states like excitement or calmness. The Cognitiv suite detects players' conscious thoughts, letting them move or manipulate objects in the game with brain power alone.
"The next major wave of technology innovation will change the way humans interact with computers," said Nam Do, co-founder and CEO of Emotiv Systems.
"As the massive adoption of concepts such as social networking and virtual worlds has proven, we are incorporating computer-based activities not only into the way we work, learn, and communicate but also into the way we relax, socialise and entertain ourselves.
"The next step is to enhance these experiences by making the way we interact with computers more 'lifelike'. That's where Emotiv's highly disruptive technology comes in."
This is a highly controversial technology though with some experts claiming that the system is reacting more to the stronger electrical impulses associated with facial and eye movement than capturing brain signals, which tend to be very weak. The system is on show now at the Games Developer Conference 2007 in San Francisco.
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