The Emotiv headset is known as a revolutionary device that allows a user to interact with the virtual location by reading his/her ‘thoughts’. Essentially, the headset records the brain’s electronic signals and interprets your thought-orders into digital actions.
The Emotiv headphone works by using a device generally known as an EEG, or electroencephalograph, to monitor the human brain waves (and emotional responses) of each gamer, almost instantaneously translating those readings into digital reactions, movements and movement.
The practical applications might be enormously good, but also potentially hideous. On the plus side, disabled people might have their lives entirely turned around, regaining an unlimited amount of independence by thought-controlling many household equipment. To develop the idea, paraplegic and quadriplegic people could create thought-controlled virtual avatars and interact with others in real time.
The potential to reform the world of gaming can be very evident, as Jane McGrath, of How StuffWorks.com, explains,
“If the EEG gaming technology eventually catches on, it could revolutionize the way people think about video games in much the same way the Nintendo Wii did (or perhaps more). On the one hand, with its facial expression interpretations, the Emotiv EPOC attempts to close the gap further between the real world and the virtual world to create a more realistic experience, much like the Wii does. On the other hand, the Emotiv EPOC also tries to bridge the gap between human thought and the outside world to create an experience that’s less like reality and more fantastical and dreamlike. The technology behind EPOC eliminates the middleman of motion altogether — a staggering thought to consider”.
Of the probable downside, that’s potentially chasmic, McGrath claims.
“Should researchers continue making more breakthroughs to advance EEG technology, it could plausibly lead to computers that can, in essence, read someone’s mind. Those with the technology could be privy to the private thoughts, opinions and emotions of others. Granted, this could be very far off, considering where the technology (and our understanding of the human brain) is now. Nevertheless, we can’t rule out the possibility entirely. Perhaps we shouldn’t dismiss the prospect of Thought Police (like that in George Orwell’s “1984”) as mere alarmism”.
Frankly, this object creeps me out. I just do not like the idea of a thought-activated computer, it makes my body crawl. But hey, that is just me. Also, if you’re a male of the species, you’d probably be dredging up porn sites every 7 seconds.
It’s also been suggested in some quarters that you’ll manage to basically imagine someone and that said PC system will automatically place a telephone call to them. The very last thing I want to do is be considering some old girlfriend of whatever and suddenly wind up calling her. No, just no. That is a can of worms that basically doesn’t need opening up, thanks very much.
On the other hand, whatever my opinion on it happen being (and, for now at the least, I’ve the option to keep them private), the Emotiv Epoc headphones will shortly be available to the average consumer, priced around $299 (that is just below £200 to us Brits).