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Fed up with handheld game controllers? The BBC in the UK is now reporting that gamers will soon be able to interact with the virtual world using their thoughts and emotions alone and that a neuro-headset which interprets the interaction of neurons in the brain will go on sale later this year.

In the report The BBC say  “It picks up electrical activity from the brain and sends wireless signals to a computer,” said Tan Le, president of US/Australian firm Emotiv.

“It allows the user to manipulate a game or virtual environment naturally and intuitively,” she added.

The brain is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, which emit an electrical impulse when interacting. The headset implements a technology known as non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) to read the neural activity.


Ms Le said: “Emotiv is a neuro-engineering company and we’ve created a brain computer interface that reads electrical impulses in the brain and translates them into commands that a video game can accept and control the game dynamically.”

 

See how the headset works
Headsets which read neural activity are not new, but Ms Le said the Epoc was the first consumer device that can be used for gaming.

“This is the first headset that doesn’t require a large net of electrodes, or a technician to calibrate or operate it and does require gel on the scalp,” she said. “It also doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars.”

The use of Electroencephalography in medical practice dates back almost 100 years but it is only since the 1970s that the procedure has been used to explore brain computer interfaces.

The headset could be used to improve the realism of emotional responses of AI characters in games.

For more on this story go to http//news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7254078.stm  

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