Hey you. Yeah, you, listen in close; we've seen the future here at CeBIT. If you thought that the idea of controlling your gaming rig with only your mind was just a bit too Tomorrowland, then you haven't laid eyes on the "brain-computer interface" developed by Austria's Guger Tecnologies (g.tec)
. We're happy to report that in a game of thought-control vs. Engadget man-editor, we were totally pwned at Pong. 10-to-4 if you must know. Our competition sat smug in his stool thinking
about where he wanted his paddle to go, as we flailed about helpless with mouse and keyboard in a wake of alpha waves. At least we didn't have to smear gel on our scalp and wear a funny hat -- ha! The system works by cleverly measuring fluctuations in electrical voltage in the brain and then translating them into computer commands. The technology has already been commercialized into the size of an iPAQ Pocket PC for hospitals and research institutes. It costs about $5,000 with a 99 - 100% level of accuracy for "trained subjects." We had our hat handed to us by a person who just started using the system, yesterday. Hell, that's a shorter learning curve than Graffiti. Although the technology shows great promise in controlling prosthetics
and assisting the disabled
with communications, we found ourselves (and our new best scientist friends, Christoph Guger and Ingo Niedermayer) eagerly discussing its use as a Second Life controller and of course, in robotics
. Be sure to click the read link below for all the details; check the gallery for the gore.
G-Tec's brain-computer interface: thought control in a box