-- Business blog now available --

A quick note to say that I've set up my Business blog, to be able to speak with a clear voice on both personal and work issues (i.e. by having separate blogs).

Thursday, 27 March 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterly - IRL #3

Final post on this: I recently came across a headset from a company called Emotiv. It sells something called the "EPOC Neuroheadset". Apparently it reads your brainwaves and you can control video games and virtual worlds. It can represent emotions in a robot-like interface, presented via a computer screen: see where I'm going here?

I haven't heard back from them yet - I dropped them a line about how appropriate this kind of tool might be for someone with major brain damage, but another potential way to unlock The Groom's world?

Blurb from their website follows. I realise it's a bit long-winded, but explains things infinitely better than I could!:
  • "Emotiv EPOC
    • The Emotiv EPOC now makes it possible for games to be controlled and influenced by the player's mind. Engaging, immersive, and nuanced, Emotiv-inspired game-play will be like nothing ever seen before. Based on the latest developments in neuro-technology, Emotiv has developed a new personal interface for human computer interaction.
    • The Emotiv EPOC uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals naturally produced by the brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expression. It connects wirelessly with all game platforms from consoles to PCs. The Emotiv neuroheadset now makes it possible for games to be controlled and influenced by the player's mind.
  • Technology
    • Emotiv's core technology was developed based on our research into the human brain - the central control center for all our interactions and experiences.
    • The brain is made up of approximately 100 billion nerve cells, which are called neurons. With the billions of active neurons, the brain tissue contains a myriad of active current sources that cause the local electrical potential to endlessly fluctuate with a great deal of variability.
    • Each human brain is unique, both physically and functionally. The folding of the cortex of the human brain is also highly individual, meaning the way in which the external surface of the brain is folded individualizes the potentials, regardless of how functionality is mapped in each brain. Using non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG), it is possible to observe each person's individual electrical brain activity.
    • At Emotiv, we've created a robust system and methodology for detecting and classifying both human conscious thoughts and non-conscious emotions. This revolutionary patent pending neural processing technology makes it possible for computers to interact directly with the human brain. By the detection of thoughts and feelings, our technology now makes it possible for applications to be controlled and influenced by the user's mind.
    • Detection Suites

      The Emotiv Game Developer SDK comprises of our development neuroheadset and proprietary toolkit, which incorporates our unique set of detection suites. Detection suites can be used alone or combined for an even more spectacular game play experience.

      Affectiv™ Suite
      The Affectiv suite monitors player emotional states in real-time. It provides an extra dimension in game interaction by allowing the game to respond to a player's emotions. Characters can transform in response to the player's feeling. Music, scene lighting and effects can be tailored to heighten the experience for the player in real-time. The Affectiv suite can be used to monitor player state of mind and allow developers to adjust difficulty to suit each situation.

      Cognitiv™ Suite
      The Cognitiv suite reads and interprets a player's conscious thoughts and intent. Gamers can manipulate virtual objects using only the power of their thought! For the first time, the fantasy of magic and supernatural power can be experienced.

      Expressiv™ Suite
      The Expressiv suite uses the signals measured by the neuroheadset to interpret player facial expressions in real-time. It provides a natural enhancement to game interaction by allowing game characters to come to life. When a player smiles, their avatar can mimic the expression even before they are aware of their own feelings. Artificial intelligence can now respond to players naturally, in ways only humans have been able to until now."
So, I was thinking that someone afflicted by Locked In syndrome (and others like it) could communicate with others using a tool, by being present together in a Virtual World environment. Probably expensive, but a really positive way to use this technology. :-D

See also my earlier posts - here and here.