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Innovation

Video: Control objects with your mind

The BodyWave, an iPod-sized device, can read your mind through the body instead of monitoring directly from your head. The gadget measures brain activity to control 3D simulations on the computer screen, helping to minimize stress and anxiety.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor on

If you don't know if you're alert enough to drive a car, there's a gadget that can tell you how aware you are in real-time -- so pay attention.

The BodyWave is a consumer device that can help people focus their attention on one task. It's an iPod-sized device that straps onto your arm and monitors your brain activity through your body. The device has sensors that touch your skin -- and measures your brain activity, according to Time magazine.

But what exactly does the device measure? Not your thoughts, exactly.

By sensing your brain activity through wave patterns, it can tell your level of attention, cognitive processing, if you're relaxed or not, or if you're anxious or stressed out. In this case, the gadget that's strapped around your arm then tells the computer to move boxes on the simulation. If your levels of anxiety and stress are reduced, then your attentive state improves.

Freer Logic makes the BodyWave technology, which uses electroencephalography (EEG) technology.

The device measures four brain patterns including ones observed when a person is asleep, daydreaming, aware but relaxed, or thinking. In Time magazine, John Cloud writes:

The technology is complicated, but the implications are staggering. What if you could wear a device that told you when your brain was focused enough to make a split-second decision: when to put a scalpel into a patient, when to execute a stock trade, when to make a putt on the 18th green -- or when to activate a nuclear-plant valve?

Some applications include using the device for sports training, driving, or relaxation. For example, if you connect the BodyWave to an iPhone, you can learn how to meditate. The relaxation feature reminds me of the breathing app by MyCalmBeat.

Mind reading products have made their way into the consumer market, as sensors replace traditional equipment -- wires, electrodes, and all.

I'd have to try out the BodyWave gadget for myself to see how it works.

The space for brain reading gadgets is getting crowded. Earlier this year, I tried a gadget that could supposedly read my brainwaves. Watch the video here. As you'll see, the cutely designed prototype made with cat ears, barely fit on my head. I hope the BodyWave works better than that.

via Thought Control: Move Objects with your Mind! (Virtually) [Time]

Photo: flickr via IsaacMao

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