Project Epoc Brain Control Demo (video)

I wrote about Emotiv’s Project Epoc a few days back; a brain-computer interface which they claim is more advances and capable than any other non-invasive system so far. In addition, they intend to commercialize it this year. Naturally that makes a nerd like me pretty excited, so I’ve been scavenging the web and found a video demo today on YouTube.

The video is of their Stonehenge Demo — a game where the user’s goal is to lift, push and rotate the Stonehenge stones into position using only his mind. With some minor difficulties, the tester (who’s probably a trained Emotiv employee) finishes the level. While watching, I asked myself but couldn’t really be sure whether the delays were part of the gameplay or simply insensitivity of the system. Another question is regarding the hand movements of the user; If the system can distinguish a difference between rotating, pushing and pulling intentions of the user, then I’m really impressed.

Unfortunately I’m inclined to think the hand gestures are mainly for theatrical purposes. The demo is divided into discrete steps, the user is either pushing, pulling or rotating and you can notice in between that the stones “click” into position when the goal has been achieved. At that point, it’s likely that the system changes contexts, so that the next time it detects a general ‘movement cue’ from the user it knows whether he’s trying rotate, push or pull. If this is the case, it just works like pushing a button — the user is always pushing the same button, it’s the system that changes what the button does. Which is not nearly as cool as if the user was changing which button he’s pushing.

But even though I’m skeptical, bringing this kind of a device to the consumer market is a great achievement. I look forward to more demos from Emotiv.

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6 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. MC

    An Emotiv employee left a comment on my post about their BCI.

    They’re looking for volunteers in Sydney, Australia, to test the system. There’s an ad on Gumtree.

    It seems that Typepad comments don’t support HTML tags, so here are the links:

    My post:
    http://neurophilosophy.wordpress.com/2007/03/07/mind-control-the-future-of-gaming/

    Comment by Deborah from Emotiv:
    http://neurophilosophy.wordpress.com/2007/03/07/mind-control-the-future-of-gaming/#comment-19364

    Gumtree ad:
    http://www.gumtree.com.au/cgi-bin/show_posting.pl?posting_id=8522656

  2. Hey MC, thanks for the links (too bad I live on the opposite side of Earth). Thanks for the note on HTML tags as well, it was just a matter of preferences and I hadn’t realized it was off — they’re allowed now.

  3. o

    It was more than a year old demo. You should see the GDC07 one.

  4. Really? It was uploaded March 10th so I assumed this was a new demo. I similarly would have thought Emotiv wouldn’t keep such old videos on their page if they had something better.

    Thanks for the heads up. Do you have any links to GDC07 videos?

  5. o

    they’re quite secretive about it! They just published online the stuffs that a year old or more, the new ones they only demo it live!

  6. Oh. They really should state that on their page. From a business perspective, that’s totally weird. But maybe not … you got me more excited.

    I do believe you just created a hype in my mind that they’ll have to live up to ;)

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