Buttons, digital joysticks, analogue sticks, touch screens, motion-sensing controllers — what’s next? Well, if Square Enix and NeuroSky (a company that specializes in interfacing bio-signals including brainwaves with consumer electronics) have anything to do with it, mind control headsets are.
At the 2008 Tokyo Game Show in Japan this week (October 9 – October 12, 2008), the two companies demonstrated Judecca, a zombie-filled first-person shooter for the PC which utilizes NeuroSky’s Mindset device to detect electrical signals in the user’s left frontal lobe and subsequently alter what is happening in-game according to the results.
The Mindset (pictured above, courtesy of Engadget) resembles a headset with the “microphone” pointed towards the user’s head, rather than their mouth. In the case of Judecca, the Mindset registers the user’s concentration level, allowing them to see and attack enemies only when they are in a suitably relaxed state.
“We are exploring the use of brain waves in the game industry because games are fun and so close to people,” said NeuroSky managing director Kikuo Ito in an interview with AFP.
“Once people get used to the idea of using brain waves for various applications, I hope we will see various products using this technology.”
According to Fox News, NeuroSky is planning to bring the Mindset — along with a price tag of between $50 and $80 per device — to North American retailers next spring. The company is also hopeful that the technology will be used to help people with disabilities, including those with speaking difficulties who could utilize the Mindset as a communication tool.