Computer headset lets brain control action

SAN FRANCISCO, July 13, 2008 (AFP) – It’s mind over machine: a US high-tech company has created a headset allowing computer game lovers to use their thoughts to move mountains and make objects disappear on screen. Emotiv, a San Francisco-based startup that marries neuroscience and computer engineering, says its EPOC gaming headset offers only a glimpse of what the technology has to offer.

“There is no natural barrier from what we can see,” Emotiv co-founder Tan Le told AFP while demonstrating the headset in the firm’s office.

“This is the tip of the iceberg for what is possible for us. There will be a convergence of gesture-based technology and the brain as a new interface — the Holy Grail is the mind.”

Gamers will be able to get their hands on the gadget in time for the winter holiday season, the company says.

The EPOC headset features 16 sensors that press against a user’s scalp to measure electrical activity in a brain using electroencephalography. A built-in gyro tracks head movement.

The sensors also register users’ moods and facial expressions, merging the data in computer software that “learns” to match readings with what people are thinking, according to Le.

“There is a dire