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Emotiv EPOC (aka Atari Mindlink)

posted Dec 4, 2009, 7:03 AM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Dec 8, 2009, 5:31 PM ]
Emotive Systems claims to have come up with the ultimate human-computer interface, the Emotive EPOC.

According to the website: Based on the latest developments in neuro-technology, Emotiv has developed a revolutionary new personal interface for human computer interaction. The Emotiv EPOC uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals produced by the brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expressions and connects wirelessly to most PCs.

This would be a lot more impressive if Atari hadn't done the same thing 25 years ago with the Atari Mindlink System.  A combination of headband with Infrared Transmitter and Infrared Receiver, the Atari Mindlink system could connect to your Atari VCS 2600, Atari 7800 and Atari Home Computers.  Using specially written software you could control the action on the screen. Sound familiar?

Sure, the Mindlink never worked all that well.  The one review I remember reading back then described a game where you navigated a balloon up and down to avoid obstacles.  The reviewer found it easier to wiggle his eyebrows up and down to control the balloon than to actually think thoughts toward the game.  But I've not seen any reviews of the Emotive EPOC talking about how well it works, either.

I'd love to try this out when it starts shipping on December 21, but at $300 a pop it's just too expensive to buy one just to play with it.

Penny Arcade had some fun with this one.