The idea of controlling the world around us through nothing more than thought has come from science fiction into reality, and is currently trending with a host of consumer products coming to market. But what exactly can these devices do, and can they live up to the hype?
EEG devices like Myndplay and Neurable use small, non-invasive electrodes to measure tiny electrical currents in the brain through the scalp. The goal is to measure the signals generated by neural activity associated with particular thoughts and intentions. The challenge is the pattern of these signals varies between people. The devices are tiny and can easily be swamped by electrical noise generated by other everyday electronics, and the electrodes can sometimes struggle to make good contact with the scalp due to hair or body movement. The idea of driving your car with nothing but your mind is still a long way off.
With more sophisticated EEG devices like those used in clinical research, and with a training period to allow the algorithms to recognise a particular user’s brain electrical patterns, a wider range of intentions can be detected more accurately, but this precision is beyond most of the simple consumer devices at the moment.
The Team at Solarflare Studio have been integrating EEG devices into experiences for a while now, focusing on the practical benefits this technology can bring to our customers while cutting through the hype.