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Input Devices Biotech Games

A Game You Control With Your Mind (nytimes.com) 56

A startup recently demoed their prototype for a VR headset using sensors that read brain waves. An anonymous reader quotes the New York Times: There is no joystick or game pad. You must use your thoughts. You turn toward a ball on the floor, and your brain sends a command to pick it up. With another thought, you send the ball crashing into a mirror, breaking the glass and revealing a few numbers scribbled on a wall. You mentally type those numbers into a large keypad by the door. And you are out. Designed by Neurable, a small start-up founded by Ramses Alcaide, an electrical engineer and neuroscientist, the game offers what you might call a computer mouse for the mind, a way of selecting items in a virtual world with your thoughts...

The prototype is among the earliest fruits of a widespread effort to embrace technology that was once science fiction -- and in some ways still is. Driven by recent investments from the United States government and by the herd mentality that so often characterizes the tech world, a number of a start-ups and bigger companies like Facebook are working on ways to mentally control machines... Although sensors can read electrical brain activity from outside the skull, it is very difficult to separate the signal from the noise. Using computer algorithms based on research that Mr. Alcaide originally published as a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, Neurable works to read activity with a speed and accuracy that is not typically possible.

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A Game You Control With Your Mind

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  • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Sunday August 27, 2017 @03:51PM (#55094159)

    SOON

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "in 5 to 10 years"

      • by narcc ( 412956 )

        Google "EEG computer mouse" or "Star Wars Force Trainer". If you can't stand Google, find anyone with an EE undergrad degree. Chances are, they or one of their former classmates has done something similar.

        Yes, this technology is with us today, and has been with us for ages.

        No, it's not reading your mind. That's just what marketing wants you to believe.

        • No, it's not reading your mind. That's just what marketing wants you to believe.

          It's not reading your mind, and never will be, in same way that AI is never AI. The goalposts simply get moved.

        • Google "EEG computer mouse" or "Star Wars Force Trainer". If you can't stand Google, find anyone with an EE undergrad degree. Chances are, they or one of their former classmates has done something similar.

          Yes, this technology is with us today, and has been with us for ages.

          No, it's not reading your mind. That's just what marketing wants you to believe.

          All those "control with your mind" things are awful. I wouldn't be suckered into buying one until 1000's of fools before me have tried it and universally given thumbs up.

          I remember my son wanted that Star Wars Force Trainer thing, tried to warn him it would be crap. Still... it was his #1 wish item for xmas, so reluctantly got it for him. It was crap.

          • by kaws ( 2589929 )
            It all really depends on the sensors you get. A cheap toy like that would hardly have anything going for it. For a full head sensor, there's a lot more potential. If it's able to accurately match patterns in the brain with certain thoughts and clear out the noise then it could work. It would require fairly expensive sensors and some good algorithms tracking brain activity. Not true mind reading, but in some ways, this is fairly close in that regard. I wouldn't be surprised if it requires some training as we
        • ...this will be reality and that will create another issue.

          How would you know that what is appearing on the keyboard is actually what that person is thinking? Not speaking of just fucked up software getting it wrong, but of the "feed" being hijacked.

          So you have a witness at a trial testifying through a future device like this, but the interface is hacked and the witness, who can't otherwise communicate, is saying things he doesn't want to say.

          I detect a good move plot twist here.

    • its called marriage.
  • ....all games you control with your mind.

  • Kind of like playing Virtual Virtual Skeeball [youtube.com]...

  • eventually
  • Seen this (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday August 27, 2017 @04:53PM (#55094325) Homepage Journal

    Seen this on ST:TNG.

    Didn't turn out well.

  • A VR headset with built-in Tobii tech for eye movement and blink controls. The second a game gets too intense, it won't work.
  • The article mentioned several other groups who are interested in this, but there's no link to Neurable, or any demo of how far they've come with it. We are told Ramses Alcaide has an algorithm. That's nice.

  • I can see what will happen when your spouse installs it on your cell phone to keep track of your thoughts.

    "I can't wait for the call, "Honey, stop thinking about that woman."

    "I'm on my way to a lunch meeting."

    "But you are not thinking about food for lunch."

    This is a bad idea, probably much worse than AI. We need to stop it now!

  • "I can move objects with my mind if I use my hands."
    -Demetri Martin

  • ... it would be already selling for big-bucks to paralysis patients.

    Just imagine, if you are paralyze neck down, how much would you be willing to pay for a gadget that allows you to have effective control a computer from just your thoughts? That basically means you can now communicate easily with the world, control anything electrical in your house, and possibly even customized mechanical devices such as one that can give you water without having to ask someone for help? Not to mention the possibility of

  • Bad idea. Our youth has the attention span of a gnat. If any concentration/focus is required, they'll fail at this.

    • by Herve5 ( 879674 )

      I don't know if our youth is different than what we were when the youth were us :-)
      But I very clearly remember being 18 and my high-school-prep math teacher telling us that we definitely were gnats because, contrary to her, we weren't trained into learning full Greek theater acts, which would definitely have helped (according to her) for remembering theorem demonstrations. Indeed.
      And, well, I remembered 10-pages demonstrations without Greek...

  • I mean, they had something like this on 8 bit computers in the 80s. Much simpler interface, much less refined, much less capabilities. But this is a massive refinement, not something groundbreaking.

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