No matter how hard you try, your mind can’t bend a spoon or channel the powers of a Jedi knight. Thanks to a new headset under development by neuroengineering company Emotiv Systems, however, you may soon be able to do this and more via the magic of video games.
By the end of this year, San Francisco–based Emotiv’s sensor-laden EPOC headset will enable gamers to use their own brain activity to interact with the virtual worlds where they play. The $299 headset’s 14 strategically placed head sensors are at the ends of what look like stretched, plastic fingers that detect patterns produced by the brain’s electrical activity. These neural signals are then narrowed down and interpreted in 30 possible ways as real-time intentions, emotions or facial expressions that are reflected in virtual world characters and actions in a way that a joystick or other type of controller could not hope to match.