Mind Control Device Demonstration - Tan Le
| ||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. You can assist by editing it. (November 2010)|
Emotiv Systems is an Australian-origin electronics company developing brain–computer interfaces based on electroencephalography (EEG) technology. Emotiv Systems was founded in 2003 by four scientists and executives: neuroscientist Professor Allan Snyder, chip-designer Neil Weste, and technology entrepreneurs Tan Le (B. Comm. in 1998 from Monash University) and Nam Do. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is Geoffrey MacKellar.
The EPOC, their gaming-peripheral, is purchasable on their official website with a price tag of US$299. For a comparison with the OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator and other competing devices, see Comparison of consumer brain–computer interfaces.
 Emotiv EPOC
Emotiv System's only current product is the Emotiv EPOC, a $300 peripheral for gaming on Windows PCs. Emotiv Systems claims the headset will make it possible for games to be controlled and influenced by the player's mind, and facial expressions. It connects wirelessly with the PC, and may in the future work on other game platforms such as consoles. The Epoc was designed by Emotiv Systems in conjunction with the Sydney based Industrial Design consultancy 4design.
The EPOC has 14 electrodes (compared to the 19 electrodes of a standard medical EEG, and the 3 of OCZ's NIA features and a multiple of NeuroSky's single electrode). It also has a two-axis gyro for measuring head rotation.
The headset must first be trained to recognize what kind of thought pattern equates to a certain action. It can measure four categories of inputs:
- Conscious thoughts (Cognitiv suite): Imagining 12 kinds of movement- those were in the demo application 6 directions (left, right, up, down, forward, and "zoom") and 6 rotations ([anti-]clockwise rotation, turn left and right, and sway backward and forward)- plus 1 other visualization ("disappear") that can be detected in µ rhythms. While the current driver may only be able to listen for any 4 of these at a time, the degrees of freedom are larger than a joystick's 2 df. Ideomotor responses ("I found myself inadvertently tightening my stomach muscles, or raising an eyebrow when I tried to make the box float. The Emotiv guy used his hands to try and cue himself to think the same way every time." (emphasis added)) or the much stronger EMG currents aside, these thought commands effectively become hotkeys. Videos of Emotiv employees playing "The Game" show a high degree of difficulty in adapting and thinking right even as experienced users. Users can train the 13 visualizations to totally different thoughts than the ones specified, but detection ability will be worse. Due to the complex detection algorithms involved, there is a slight lag in detecting thoughts. However, the technology may still be useful in a support role like calling up a minimap or radar in a FPS game.
- Emotions (Affectiv suite): "Excitement", "Engagement/Boredom", "Meditation", and "Frustration" can currently be measured. Emotiv admits that the names may not perfectly reflect exactly what the emotion is, and says that they may be renamed before market launch.
- Facial expressions (Expressiv suite): Individual eyelid and eyebrow positions, eye position in the horizontal plane, smiling, laughing, clenching, and smirking can currently be detected. Other expressions may be added prior to release. The expressions are detected by the EEG sensors picking up signals to facial muscles, rather than by reading brainwaves. Unlike reading mental activity, these detections are very fast (10ms) conveying a decisive advantage and rendering them suitable for fast paced games in the FPS genre.
- Head rotation: The angular velocity of one's head can be measured in the yaw and pitch (but not roll) directions. This is detected by gyros, and isn't related to the EEG features.
For compatibility with non-compliant software EmoKey would be provided in order to bind commands to keys or combinations thereof transforming the device into an HID.
EPOC can be used to get EEG data (the raw electricity measurements), with the Python Emokit without the need for EPOC's proprietary software, Research, Research Plus or Enterprise Plus SDK licenses ($750, $2,500 and $7,500 respectively).
The Emotiv EPOC will ship with a game by Demiurge Studios, previously called "The Game", built on the Unreal engine. Videos of portions of the game have been shown at conferences and in media interviews. The game involves a first person view of the user walking around a virtual environment, with many different activities at different locations. The sky changes color according to the mood of the player. Demonstrated activities in the game include pushing and rotating giant stone structures into the shape of stone henge, then raising a temple from below the ground; levitating a large rock and some smaller ones; repairing a bridge; bending a tree; and scaring away glowing spirits with scary facial expressions.
The EPOC also includes "EmoKey" software used to emulate keystrokes based on combinations of thoughts, feelings, and facial expressions. Any EPOC detection can be paired with keystrokes or string of keystrokes through a simple user interface by the end user. Future versions will also emulate the mouse based on the gyros. This software allows most existing games, instant messaging programs, and other software to be controlled with the headset.
There is also a planned web site known as "Emortal", for listening to music, viewing photos, and other activities, modified based on what the user is thinking and feeling.
Another product is the Emotiv Control Panel, also seen in many videos, which allows users to train the various thoughts, such as "push" and "disappear", and test them on a floating, bobbing, cube. It also allows users to view their emotional state, such as "excitement", on a graph. It has a 2D blue avatar that allows the user to view their own facial expressions, and adjust the sensitivity of those detections.
A free SDK (called SDK Lite) is also available for download from the Emotiv website. It includes software to emulate the Emotiv EPOC for developers who do not have one of the (beta version) headsets. A SDK interface will give Linux users a more powerful control for recoding and modification of the Emotiv head set for other game consoles and programs.
At the Game Developers Conference 2008, in San Francisco an Emotiv headset was among the new video game input devices there. The demo played with the Emotiv was a puzzle where the player rebuilds Stonehenge. To do so, the wearer did hand motions such as pushing and pulling to restore Stonehenge.
The field of consumer BCI has three primary players, NeuroSky, Emotiv, and OCZ industries. The Emotiv EPOC has significantly more electrodes than its competitors and is not considerably more expensive, but is the only commercial EEG unit to still use wet sensor technology.
 See also
- ^ "Corporate HP". Emotiv.com. http://emotiv.com/. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- ^ Emotiv Emerges from Stealth to Revolutionize Human Computer Interaction, – March 7, 2007, Technology Venture Partners Pty. Ltd.
- ^ Board of Directors[dead link]Archive copy at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ Board of Directors[dead link]Archive copy at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ Geoffrey MacKellar's LinkedIn profile
- ^ "Blog Archive » Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset Update". grinding.be. 2008-03-22. http://grinding.be/2008/03/22/emotiv-epoc-neuroheadset-update/. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- ^ Emotiv EPOC - Australian International Design Awards
- ^ 4design Ltd
- ^ Johnson, Stephen (July 8, 2008). "Headset Promises Mind-Control Games". G4 Media, Inc.. http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/686845/Play_Games_With_Your_Mind.html. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- ^ Top mention under headset features on this site of the corporate domain.
- ^ "Emotive Press Event - Inside the GDC 2008". Gamedev.net. http://www.gamedev.net/columns/events/gdc2008/article.asp?id=1307. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- ^ Field report Memorable quote: "It worked ["levitation" thought command recognition from the cognitiv suite]. I laughed in surprise and the box immediately dropped back down again."
- ^ "A Community for Disabled Gamers - Disabled Gamers News/Hardware News". AbleGamers. http://www.ablegamers.com/hardware-news/215-emotiv-interview.html. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- ^ deep link to youtube where Randy Breen of Emotiv answers a question regarding this during a presentation at Stanford university
- ^ a b Python library for the Emotiv EPOC headset on Github
- ^ Emotiv Software Development Kit[dead link]Archive copy at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ ""Prototype This: Mind Controlled Car" on The Discovery Channel". Dsc.discovery.com. 2008-09-10. http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/prototype-this-mind-controlled-car.html. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- ^ "Emotiv Systems, Inc. SDKLite License Agreement" (PDF). http://emotiv.com/corporate/1_0/SDKLite-License.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-14. [dead link]
- ^ "Game Developers Conference 2008". Pcworld.com. 2008-02-21. http://www.pcworld.com/video/id,722-page,1-bid,0/video.html. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- ^ "Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves | Video on". Ted.com. http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Brain control headset for gamers, By Darren Waters, 20 February 2008, BBC News
- Reality Bites -- Emotiv -- Mind Reading Device, By David H. Freedman, Dec 1, 2008, Inc. Magazine profile
- Mind control: How a £200 headset is redefining brain-computing interaction, by Neal Pollack, 29 November 2010, Wired UK
- Emotiv EPOC EEG Headset Hacked
- Emotiv Systems - EPOC neuroheadset
- YouTube - Mind Control Device Demonstration - Tan Le
- Emotiv Systems - Google Search
- Emotiv - Brain Computer Interface Technology
- Emotiv EPOC Software Development Kit
- Emotiv Systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia