Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Emotiv EPOC controlling a car, bending a spoon

Some folks on Prototype This on the Discovery Channel hooked the Emotiv EPOC up to a car, allowing the tester to control some of the functions of the car with his mind. (I would not recommend doing that at home, especially since our product is still in beta.) He could shift the car into drive by mentally "pushing" an orange cube on the screen. They also rigged it so if his "aggro" (probably a measure similar to arousal, but I'm not exactly sure what detection they were using) increased to a certain level, it would shift back into neutral. This was part of their prototype anti-road rage system.

Such a system could certainly work, but I could picture numerous other events that might produce a similar arousal reaction: a song on the radio, a sudden change in driving conditions, etc. In order to differentiate road rage from other kinds of arousal, it might be useful to look at some other measures as well: jaw tension, facial expression, etc. Also, I'm not sure shifting the car into neutral is a good road-rage countermeasure. Maybe putting on soothing music and dispensing a cup of chamomille tea would be more effective.

UPDATE: The same folks use the EPOC to do the proverbial "bending a spoon with your mind" trick:

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