The Emotiv earphones is a pioneering device that enables a consumer to interact with the virtual situation by reading his/her ‘thoughts’. Essentially, the headset records the brain’s electronic indicators and translates your thinking-orders into digital actions.
The Emotiv headset works by using a tool generally known as an EEG, or electroencephalograph, to observe the human brain waves (and emotional responses) of every gamer, almost immediately translating those readings into virtual reactions, movements and movement.
The practical purposes could be enormously good, but also possibly hideous. On the plus side, disabled users might have their lives entirely turned around, regaining an enormous quality of independence by thought-controlling many home devices. To develop the concept, paraplegic and quadriplegic users could generate thought-controlled virtual avatars and interact with others in real time.
The possibility to transform the world of games is also very evident, as Jane McGrath, of How StuffWorks.com, explains,
“If the EEG gaming technology eventually catches on, it could revolutionize the way people think about video games in much the same way the Nintendo Wii did (or perhaps more). On the one hand, with its facial expression interpretations, the Emotiv EPOC attempts to close the gap further between the real world and the virtual world to create a more realistic experience, much like the Wii does. On the other hand, the Emotiv EPOC also tries to bridge the gap between human thought and the outside world to create an experience that’s less like reality and more fantastical and dreamlike. The technology behind EPOC eliminates the middleman of motion altogether — a staggering thought to consider”.
Of a possible downside, which is potentially chasmic, McGrath claims.
“Should researchers continue making more breakthroughs to advance EEG technology, it could plausibly lead to computers that can, in essence, read someone’s mind. Those with the technology could be privy to the private thoughts, opinions and emotions of others. Granted, this could be very far off, considering where the technology (and our understanding of the human brain) is now. Nevertheless, we can’t rule out the possibility entirely. Perhaps we shouldn’t dismiss the prospect of Thought Police (like that in George Orwell’s “1984”) as mere alarmism”.
Simply, this thing creeps me out. I just don’t like the idea of a thought-activated computer, it makes my body crawl. But hey, that’s just me. Also, if you’re a male of our species, you would probably be dredging up porn sites every 7 seconds.
It’s also been recommended in some quarters that you’ll be able to simply imagine someone and the said computer system will automatically place a phone call to them. The last thing I wish to do is be thinking about some old girlfriend of suchlike and suddenly wind up calling her. No, just no. That is a can of worms that basically does not need opening up, thanks very much.
On the other hand, whatever my opinion on it happen being (and, for now at the least, I’ve the option to keep them private), the Emotiv Epoc headset will shortly be available to the average customer, priced around $299 (that is slightly below £200 to us Brits).