Gadget Review : Emotiv Insight Neuroheadset

As huge fans of sci-fi, Geeks in Cambodia looked towards the future of new technologies. Today we decided to focus on a science that allows you to control your electronic devices with nothing but a simple thought.

We discovered Emotiv Systems, an Australian company, pioneer in research and commercialization of neuro-technology products at a large scale. In a nutshell, Emotiv designs interfaces based on electro-encephalography technology. Their constant progression in neuro-technology paid off with the creation of two products, EPOC and INSIGHT.

Emotiv insight neurosethead

Emotiv launched in 2008 its first neuro-product called EPOC, which is a multichannel and wireless neuro-headset. It uses 14 sensors that turn every electric signals produced by the brain into actions on screen. Note that the degree of concentration on your thoughts induces more or less powerful brain signals. As a result, users must get used to train their mind before exploring the whole potential of the device. To do so, Emotiv provides apps to help you keep the control over your new virtual “telekinetic powers”.  The most popular is the Brain Sensing, where users improve their performances with the help of a 3D virtual orange box floating on screen. The training consists in spinning the cube in different directions by visualizing mentally the direction you want it to take. Also, Emotiv developed a free software, The Cortex Arcade, allowing users to practice their mental exercises. It includes three games allowing to experiment the technology in a funnier way. First game is Emotipong, which is actually the regular Pong game, the famous tennis sport game in 2D, in which you try to defeat the computer by moving your bar mentally. Cerebral Constructor game adapts the concept of Tetris in which you manipulate the “Tetriminos” (the geometric blocks) and try to create horizontal lines without gaps. Finally, Jedi Mind trainer game helps you reaching the rank of Jedi Master. In this game, Yoda can ask you to use the force and keep control of the Xwing (Rebel Alliance’s space battleship if you are not familiar with Star Wars culture).

Following the success of EPOC in terms of sales, and the positive feedbacks from the first owners, the neuro-technological firm decided to work on a new prototype : the Emotiv INSIGHT.

The INSIGHT inherited of a trendy design, which totally recalls the handset of the Cerebro that Professor Xavier from Xmen uses to mentally interact with every mutant on Earth. The INSIGHT is the next generation of wireless neuro-headset. It offers only 7 sensors and uses a special biosensor system improving electrical conductivity, which means greater performances on screen. Furthermore, Emotiv incorporated additional features to the INSIGHT such as the automatic recognition of human gestures like nodding or shaking head, the possible extraction of respiration and heart rate and the control of remote controlled vehicles. This technology will be integrated to a various range of applications such as gaming, science, social interaction, music and assistance to disabled people.

Emotiv could be paving the way for mass-marketing in the neuro-technology industry. It is clearly a risky bet considering that most people could be reluctant to connect their brains to machines. However, the high degree of interest in innovating technologies and their implementation in everyday life finally convinced Emotiv to jump forward. As a pioneer of this technology, Emotiv is still facing challenges when pursuing the road of innovation.

Neurosciences resources also raise interest in terms of emotional engagement, and leading brands such as Google, CBS and Frito Lay have already used neuromarketing insights to gather informations on what consumers were thinking about their products.

If you believe in the potential of Emotiv’s project, you can contribute to their KickStarter’s campaign and receive an INSIGHT neuro-handset in return. A good way to develop your “Super Geek powers”, but remember : “a great power comes with a great responsibility” (=> just reminding that I am quoting Spiderman right now…)

Sources : Tech in Asia - EpocEmotiv Insight