Buy your portable brain-computer interface here

ml_system.jpgIf you can’t wait until next year to get your hands on a Project Epoc EEG cap, never fear: a German company called g.tec (Guger Technologies) is now offering the world’s first commercially available brain computer interface (BCI).

g.MOBIlab is a light-weight biological signal acquisition and analysis system. The EEG cap records the electrical activity of the brain, which is amplified and sent, either wirelessly by Bluetooth or via the USB port, to a desktop PC, notebook or pocket PC running signal analysis software. With training, the signals can be used to compose and send messages or play computer games.

There’s also an invasive version, which is still in the experimental stages. This uses electrocorticography instead – electrical activity from the premotor and motor cortices is recorded by a microelectrode array implanted into the surface of the brain.

The system can record eye movements, pulse, respiration and galvanic skin response, and also comes with an electrocardiograph and electromyograph (for measuring the electrical activity of the heart and muscle, respectively). It has been nominated for the 2007 European ICT Grand Prize.

This short film clip shows the system being used to navigate a computer character through a virtual environment. (Incidentally, the clip was produced by Mel Slater, a computer scientist at UCL, who is using virtual reality for social psychological studies that would otherwise be too unethical.)

[via Gizmag]

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7 thoughts on “Buy your portable brain-computer interface here

  1. It’s just one step closer to being jacked into the Overmind, and I’m pretty intrigued by the possibility of that happening in my lifetime (that’s really weird considering how “big brother” paranoid I normally am). But I say bring on those cranial nanojacks! Someday we are going to look back on the way we do things now and think, “How primitive!” You know how you can download a utility that uses your computer to figure out protein structures and things like that…imagine a hundred thousand people all donating their unused brain processing power to such a network. Which, now that I think of it, is basically what happens in the book “Sunstorm” by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter.

  2. I wouldn’t exactly call this “navigating” through a world. It’s more like taking a few steps. Really, it’s impossible to show for sure that it’s actually the person controlling the environment and not someone off-screen with a keyboard.

    Also, why do those people walk so awkwardly?

  3. all sorts of possibilities for computer assisted living for patients with spinal cord injuries, etc. I suspect that would be one of the first uses of this technology.

  4. Pingback: Nano, Bio, Info, Cogno, Synthetic bio, NBICS

  5. Imagine a world where we could download extensions for our virtual identities just like nowadays we download extensions for Firefox (or IE if you are like a total noob and stuff).

  6. I use IBVA ( Interactive Brainwave Visual Analyser ) brain biofeedback for over 14 years. I can change iTunes tracks using ibva software, control 16 simultaneous MIDI channels in realtime, affect animations and quicktimes. Its a Mac BCI and is Bluetooth, I can offer demponstrations in UK if you are interested in this amazing technology. I dont pretend to read ‘emotions’ from EEG detected on the scalp – you need MRI for that,so I am not convinced by this Epoc. I would try it however !!

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