NeuroSky's mind-reading headsets haven't exactly revolutionized modern user input -- they just measure midichlorian count and control an app or three -- but the company's definitely moving towards products that the general public can take seriously. This BrainAthlete system, for instance, first graced Tokyo Game Show 2010 as an ugly sweatband, but has since graduated to this handsome golf visor cap, which merely measures an athlete's brainwaves as they play rather than promise brain control. The idea is that trainers can analyze the data in real time, and potentially find strengths and weaknesses in their charges' state of mind. The 40,000 yen (about $483) went on sale in Japan early this month, and promises to find stateside availability in the first quarter of next year. Plenty of time for you to figure out how you're going to get one onto your opponent's head. Video after the break.
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NeuroSky Partner B-Bridge International, Inc. announces BrainAthlete
Tokyo, Japan, December 21, and San Jose, CA, USA, December 20, 2010 - B-Bridge International proudly unveils the first brainwave athletic trainer. Powered by NeuroSky, the leader in mass-market Brain-Computer Interface technology, the BrainAthlete system is the first sports training unit available for general consumers to track an athlete's level of concentration, helping them find their "zone." Engineered into a standard golf visor, three non-invasive contact points in the headband monitor the EEG electrical activity from the brain to determine the athlete's mental states.
The BrainAthlete visor will allow athletes and trainers to track concentration levels during a workout activity, such as a golf swing, and analyze the performance in real time or after the completion of the training session. "We have found that there is a lot of interest in how this device can help athletes more easily 'get into the zone,'" states Hiro Masumoto, president and CEO of B-Bridge International.
"For the past five years, we have focused on research of mental sports performance. We are pleased to finally have a product that will be available to the public and specifically for peak sports training," states NeuroSky CEO, Stanley Yang.
NeuroSky has been working with the USA Olympic Archery team for over four years, but the concept of "mental training" goes back much further. "When it comes to expert level players or athletes, the difference between win or lose, gold or silver is often the athlete's mind", says Dr. Lee, NeuroSky's CTO and one of the company founders.
The potential of this technology and device to help other athletes - amateur or professional level - is huge. According to the National Golf Foundation, there are 28.8 million American golfers. Acknowledged as a mental game by many, golf is the ideal sport to introduce the neuro-feedback technology because it can help golfers improve on their skills.
As a professor of psychology at Arizona State University, Dr. Debra Crews has been studying golfers' brainwaves for a decade. She sees a correlation between mental state and performance accuracy. Her challenge has been the lack of portability in bringing medical EEG to the golf course. "EEG will be a factor in golf coaching and other sports where mental acuity influences outcomes." Dr. Crews would historically record EEG data and return to her office on campus later to conduct analysis.
The product began shipping in Japan on December 1. It will be available in the US in the first quarter of 2011 at a price to be determined.
Technical Specifications: Expected Price: 40,000 Japanese yen Bluetooth Ver.1.2 Operation range: Max.10m` Operation time: Max 2 hours Weight: 100g Currently available on Windows (Mac and mobile versions will be launched next year) About B - Bridge International, Inc. The B in B - Bridge stands for Biotechnology and Be the bridge between USA and Japan. Currently, the company focuses on business development, incubation and R&D for brain-wave detection systems in partnership with NeuroSky Technologies.
For more information about B-Bridge, please visit http://www.b-bridge.com/.
For Brain Athlete product, please visit Japanese site, www.brainathlete.jp, or http://store.neuro-bridge.com/ for the online store For more information on B-Bridge, please contact email@example.com or (408) 252-6200.
NeuroSky, Inc. is the leader in Brain-Computer Interface technologies for consumer product application. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in San Jose, CA, NeuroSky works with industry partners, developers, and with academic and research institutions, to provide innovative products and solutions across a wide range of areas. Technological innovations include significant advancements in "noise" reduction, dry-sensor development (rather than requiring a conductive gel), substantial "cost engineering" (reducing the price), and enabling the wearer to use it outside of a lab (without the assistance of a doctor).