07 March 2007

Emotiv’s man-machine melding interface technology

"The human-computer interface has always been clunky. You grapple with various manual input devices to give commands to a computer. Voice interaction is starting to take hold, at least for unforgiving call center applications or "call home" commands, but mind control–connecting our brains to computers–remains elusive. Startup Emotiv Systems is hoping to crack the code on human-computer interaction with a unique technology, based on “unfolding” the cerebral cortex, to connect wetware to hardware and software, moving virtual objects with the mind.

The brain signal data acquired via the headset (prototype at right) is streamed wirelessly to a receiver box connected to a computer. Proprietary software and silicon is used to measure and interpret the electrical signals, which represent signatures for various states or activities, said Randy Breen, chief product officer. Game developers can calibrate the sensitivity of settings and determine interactions based on the Emotiv data.

As a first generation human-machine interface integrated with games, Emotiv, which has been working three years on its technology, will take a few years to shake out the cobwebs, but the face of gaming and other disciplines will be forever changed. I'm still waiting for the kind of mind control that allows me to move my real furniture without lifting finger."


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